The doses of local rhBMP-2 in commercially available materials are high with known drawbacks such as inflammation and premature bone resorption. The latter can be prevented by adding bisphosphonates like zoledronic acid (ZA) but systemic ZA has side effects and patient adherence to treatment is low. In a recent study, we have shown that local co-delivery of rhBMP-2 and ZA via a calcium sulphate/hydroxyapatite (CS-HA) biomaterial can be used to regenerate both cortical and trabecular bone in a rat model of metaphyseal bone defect. Even low doses of local ZA in the biomaterial showed promising results and increased bone formation within the defect compared to the controls. A step before clinical translation of the local treatment regimen is to evaluate the in-vivo release kinetics of these additives and thus in this study, we aimed to investigate the in-vivo pharmacokinetics of rhBMP-2 and ZA from the CS-HA biomaterial in a rat abdominal muscle pouch model over a period of 4-weeks.
In-vivo release kinetics of 125I labeled rhBMP-2 and 14C labeled ZA was performed using an abdominal muscle pouch model in rats (n=6). Both rhBMP-2 and ZA were labeled commercially with a radiochemical purity of >95%. The detection of 125I -rhBMP-2 release was performed by implanting pellets of the CS-HA biomaterial containing 125I -rhBMP-2 and ZA and the same animals followed over a period of 4-weeks (day 1, 3, 7, 14, 21& 28) using SPECT imaging. Similarly, the 14C-ZA was detected by implanting CS-HA pellets containing rhBMP-2 and 14C-ZA. Release was detected via scintillation counting and at each time point (Day 1, 7, 14& 28) 6-animals were sacrificed.
The CS-HA biomaterial retained 95±11% after 3-days, 88±12% after a week, 66±9% after 2 weeks, 51±5% after 3 weeks and 43±7% of 125I labeled rhBMP-2 after 4-weeks in-vivo (SPECT-CT).
The CS-HA biomaterial retained 89±14% after a week, 84±8% after 2 weeks, 83±9% after 3 weeks and 77±3% of 14C labeled ZA after 4 weeks of in-vivo implantation.
Improved carriers and better knowledge of the release might improve the effect of bone active drugs in orthopedics. Our previous study shows that an off-the-shelf ceramic biomaterial combined with ZA alone or with both rhBMP-2 and ZA can be used to regenerate bone with potential for clinical translational. This study demonstrates long-term co-delivery of both rhBMP-2 and ZA in-vivo via the biomaterial. Constant availability of rhBMP-2 over a long period of time can give osteoinductive properties to the material while presence of local ZA prevents premature bone loss. The pharmacokinetic release pattern differs from what we have reported in vitro with less BMP and more ZA being released in vivo during the first 4 weeks. We speculate that rapid protein passivation of the ceramic material slows the release of BMP and partly preventing the ZA binding to apatite.