Size matters: effects of PLGA-microsphere size in injectable CPC/PLGA on bone formation

Hongbing Liao, Rosa P. Félix Lanao, Jeroen J.J.P. van den Beucken, Nuo Zhou, Sanne K. Both, Joop G.C. Wolke, John A. Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of PLGA microsphere dimensions on bone formation after injection of calcium phosphate cement (CPC)/PLGA in a guinea pig tibial intramedullarly model. To this end, injectable CPC/PLGA formulations were prepared using PLGA microspheres with either a small (~25 µm) or large (~100 µm) diameter, which were incorporated at a 20:80 ratio (wt%) within apatite CPC. Both CPC/PLGA formulations were injected into a marrow-ablated tibial intramedullary cavity and, after an implantation period of 12 weeks, histology and histomorphometry were used to address bone formation. The results demonstrated bone ingrowth throughout the entire scaffold material for both CPC/PLGA formulations upon PLGA microsphere degradation. More importantly, bone formation within the CPC matrix was > two-fold higher for CPC-PLGA with 25 µm PLGA microspheres. Additionally, the pattern of bone and marrow formation showed distinct differences related to PLGA microsphere dimension. In general, this study demonstrates that PLGA microsphere dimensions of ~25 µm, leading to pores of ~25 µm within CPC, are sufficient for bone ingrowth and allow substantial bone formation. Further, the results demonstrate that PLGA microsphere dimensions provide a tool to control bone formation for injectable CPC/PLGA bone substitutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-678
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • animal model
  • biodegradation
  • calcium phosphate cement
  • microspheres
  • PLGA
  • size


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