Evaluation of Functionalized Biopolymers as a Step Toward Targeted Therapy of Osteoporosis
Abstract: The work presented in this thesis focuses on the development of strategies and smart bioactive materials for the treatment of osteoporosis. High and low molecular weight soluble hyaluronic acid-bisphosphonate (HA-BP) derivatives were investigated for their ability to inhibit osteoclasts. Low molecular weight HA-BP (L-HA-BP) was most effective in inhibiting active resorption of both murine and human osteoclasts (without affecting osteoblasts) compared to free bisphosphonate (BP). Precursor monocytes were unaffected, suggesting the specificity of HA-BP towards osteoclasts. This new class of functionalized hyaluronic acid could lead to rapid development of tailor-made pro-drugs for targeted treatment of osteoporosis.Polyphosphoesters (PEP) have been widely studied for their pro-osteoblast effects, primarily due to their involvement in cellular energy production pathway leading to the formation of inorganic phosphates that contribute to mineralized bone. Given that the effect of PEP on human osteoclasts is little studied, this work on poly(ethylene sodium phosphate) (PEP.Na) explores the potential to use PEP.Na as an inhibitor of osteoclast activity for the first time. PEP.Na exposure led to a dose-dependent toxicity of osteoclasts with reduction in their capacity to form resorption pits over 24h.Currently, there is a dearth of in vitro cell-culture systems that can study osteoclast-related resorption and osteoblast-related mineralization in a single co-culture system, and to simultaneously quantify the effects of soluble factors on these processes. Described here, is the development of a novel and simple two-sided co-culture system that can overcome these limitations with reliable and quantifiable readouts. In comparison with traditional one-sided co-culture systems, the two-sided co-culture was able to generate similar readouts for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) markers. There is also the advantage of distinctly separate and quantifiable readouts for mineralization and resorption, which has been demonstrated using Pamidronate.Finally, HA-BP was synthesized with pre-determined amounts of BP groups. The BP groups attached to HA allowed the tunable incorporation of BMP-2 in hydrogels. The charge-based affinity of BMP-2 and BP allowed stable incorporation of specific amounts of BMP-2, which could be tuned by the ratio of BP groups. 125I-labelled BMP-2 was loaded into hydrogels and their release was studied. Radioactive measurements revealed the tunable sequestration and controlled release of protein over time. This result was corroborated by ALP measurements of cells exposed to released BMP-2. ALP production was found to be almost 5-fold higher in HA-BP hydrogels loaded with BMP-2 which suggested that the sequestered BMP-2 is not only available to cells but also remains highly potent, even in entrapped form, The release of BMP-2 is dependent upon the rate of diffusion, swelling in hydrogels and degradation pattern of the gels and may assist in the long-term and rapid regeneration of osteoblasts in vitro.
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