Degradable poly(methyl methacrylate)-co-methacrylic acid nanoparticles for controlled delivery of growth factors for bone regeneration

Tinke Marie de Witte, Angela M. Wagner, Lidy E. Fratila-Apachitei, Amir A. Zadpoor, Nicholas A. Peppas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Bone tissue engineering strategies have been developed to address the limitations of the current gold standard treatment options for bone-related disorders. These systems consist of an engineered scaffold that mimics the extracellular matrix and provides an architecture to guide the natural bone regeneration process, and incorporated growth factors that enhance cell recruitment and ingress into the scaffold and promote the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells and angiogenesis. In particular, the osteogenic growth factor bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) has been widely studied as a potent agent to improve bone regeneration. A key challenge in growth factor delivery is that the growth factors must reach their target sites without losing bioactivity and remain in the location for an extended period to effectively aid in the formation of new bone. Protein incorporation into nanoparticles can both protect protein bioactivity and enable its sustained release. In this study, a poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) nanoparticle-based system was synthesized incorporating a custom poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate crosslinker. It was demonstrated that the nanoparticle degradation rate can be controlled by tuning the number of hydrolytically degradable ester units along the crosslinker. We also showed that the nanoparticles had high affinity for a model protein for BMP-2, and optimal conditions for maximum protein loading efficiency were elucidated. Ultimately, the proposed system and its high degree of tunability can be applied to a wide range of growth factors and tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1242
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Bone regeneration
  • Controlled release
  • Growth factor delivery
  • Nanocarriers
  • Tunable degradation


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