Bone regeneration mediated by biomimetic mineralization of a nanofiber matrix

Alvaro Mata, Yanbiao Geng, Karl J. Henrikson, Conrado Aparicio, Stuart R. Stock, Robert L. Satcher, Samuel I. Stupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

232 Scopus citations


Rapid bone regeneration within a three-dimensional defect without the use of bone grafts, exogenous growth factors, or cells remains a major challenge. We report here on the use of self-assembling peptide nanostructured gels to promote bone regeneration that have the capacity to mineralize in biomimetic fashion. The main molecular design was the use of phosphoserine residues in the sequence of a peptide amphiphile known to nucleate hydroxyapatite crystals on the surfaces of nanofibers. We tested the system in a rat femoral critical-size defect by placing pre-assembled nanofiber gels in a 5. mm gap and analyzed bone formation with micro-computed tomography and histology. We found within 4 weeks significantly higher bone formation relative to controls lacking phosphorylated residues and comparable bone formation to that observed in animals treated with a clinically used allogenic bone matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6004-6012
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH/NIDCR), grant no. 5R01DE015920-3 . This work made use of Central Facilities supported by the MRSEC program of the National Science Foundation (DMR-0520513) at the Materials Research Center of Northwestern University. Electron microscopy was performed in the Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) facility of the NUANCE Center at Northwestern University, and is supported by NSF-NSEC, NSF-MRSEC, Keck Foundation, the State of Illinois, and Northwestern University. MALDI and ESI analysis were performed at the IMSERC Center and confocal microscopy was performed at the Cell Imaging Facility both at Northwestern University. We thank Mr. Ben Myers, Dr. William Russin, Mr. Lennel Reynolds, and Dr. Teng-Leong Chew for assistance with the various microscopy techniques. We also would like to thank Dr. William Laskin, Dr. Erik Spoerke, Shawn Anthony, Dr. Tomiko Fukuda, Dr. Liam Palmer, and Dr. Ramille Capito for important discussions. Conrado Aparicio would like to thank the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Technical University of Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain for fellowship support.


  • Biomaterials
  • Biomineralization
  • Bone regeneration
  • Bone scaffolds
  • Peptide amphiphiles
  • Regenerative medicine


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