In response to the drawbacks of autograft donor-site morbidity and bone morphogenetic protein type 2 (BMP2) carcinogenesis and ectopic bone formation, there has been an increased research focus towards developing alternatives capable of achieving spatial control over bone formation. Here we show for the first time both osteogenic differentiation and mineralization (from solution or mediated by cells) occurring within predetermined microscopic patterns. Our results revealed that both PEGylated BMP2 and nacre proteins induced stem cell osteodifferentiation in microscopic patterns when these proteins were covalently bonded in patterns onto polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel substrates; however, only nacre proteins induced mineralization localized to the micropatterns. These findings have broad implications on the design and development of orthopedic biomaterials and drug delivery.
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