In vivo degradation of calcium phosphate cement incorporated into biodegradable microspheres

W.J.E.M. Habraken, H.B. Liao, Z. Zhang, J.G.C. Wolke, D.W. Grijpma, A.G. Mikos, J. Feijen, J.A. Jansen

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In this study we have investigated the influence of the mechanism of microsphere degradation or erosion on the in vivo degradation of microsphere/calcium phosphate cement composites (microsphere CPCs) used in tissue engineering. Microspheres composed of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), gelatin and poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) were used as the model and the resulting microsphere CPCs were implanted subcutaneously for 4, 8 or 12 weeks in the back of New Zealand white rabbits. Besides degradation, the soft tissue response to these formulations was evaluated. After retrieval, specimens were analyzed by physicochemical characterization and histological analysis. The results showed that all microsphere CPCs exhibited microsphere degradation after 12 weeks of subcutaneous implantation, which was accompanied by decreasing compression strength. The PLGA microspheres exhibited bulk erosion simultaneously throughout the whole composite, whereas the gelatin type B microspheres were degradated from the outside to the center of the composite. High molecular weight PTMC microspheres exhibited surface erosion resulting in decreasing microsphere size. Furthermore, all composites showed a similar tissue response, with decreasing capsule thickness over time and a persistent moderate inflammatory response at the implant interface. In conclusion, microsphere CPCs can be used to generate porous scaffolds in an in vivo environment after degradation of microspheres by various degradation/erosion mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2200-2211
JournalActa biomaterialia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • In vitro
  • Biodegradation
  • Calcium phosphate cement
  • IR-76325
  • Microspheres
  • Animal model
  • METIS-272973


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