Hugo G Schmoekel

Universität Bern, Berna, Bern, Switzerland

Are you Hugo G Schmoekel?

Claim your profile

Publications (25)114.53 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In medicine, N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP) has a long track record as a constituent in medical devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration and thus can be considered as a safe and biologically inactive small chemical. In the present study, we report on the newly discovered pharmaceutical property of NMP in enhancing bone regeneration in a rabbit calvarial defect model in vivo. At the cellular level, the pharmaceutical effect of NMP was confirmed, in particular, in combination with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, because NMP increased early and late markers for maturation of preosteoblasts and human bone marrow-derived stem cells in vitro. When we used the multipotent cell line C2C12 without autologous BMP expression, NMP alone had no effect on alkaline phosphatase activity, a marker for osteogenic transdifferentiation. Nevertheless, in combination with low BMP-2 doses, alkaline phosphatase activity was more than eight times as great. Thus, the pharmaceutical NMP mode of action is that of an enhancer of BMP activity. The dependency of the effects of NMP on BMP was confirmed in preosteoblasts because noggin, an extracellular BMP inhibitor, suppressed NMP-induced increases in early markers for osteoblast maturation in vitro. At the molecular level, NMP was shown to have no effect on the binding of BMP-2 to the ectodomain of the high-affinity BMP receptor IA. However, NMP further increased the phosphorylation of p38 and Smad1,5,8 induced by BMP-2. Thus, the small chemical NMP enhances BMP activity by increasing the kinase activity of the BMP receptor complex for Smad1,5,8 and p38 and could be employed as a potent drug for bone tissue regeneration and engineering.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 04/2009; 15(10):2955-63. · 4.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We here present an evaluation of the carrier performance of nanoparticles that are biofunctional, i.e. derivatized to provide a controlled biological activity, and environmentally responsive, since they respond to the presence of oxidants. In particular, we focus on the possibilities (a) to make the nanoparticles detectable and (b) to control their uptake in phagocytic cells, which determines their lifetime in vivo. We first describe techniques for labeling selectively the nanoparticle surface or bulk with imaging moieties (fluorophores or gold). We then show how surface composition and size, which are both controlled through the use of PEG derivatives, influence uptake by macrophages in vitro and blood circulation in vivo: for example, in vitro uptake is negligible for small (40 nm) particles but not for larger (100 nm) ones and, correspondingly, in vivo blood circulation half-life time decreases from 6.0 to 2.9 h. However, upon decoration with RGD peptides also the small particles can be significantly internalized.
    Biomaterials 05/2008; 29(12):1958-66. · 8.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bioresorbable scaffolds made of poly(L-lactic acid) (PLA) obtained by supercritical gas foaming were recently described as suitable for tissue engineering, portraying biocompatibility with primary osteoblasts in vitro and interesting mechanical properties when reinforced with ceramics. The behavior of such constructs remained to be evaluated in vivo and therefore the present study was undertaken to compare different PLA/ceramic composite scaffolds obtained by supercritical gas foaming in a critical size defect craniotomy model in Sprague-Dawley rats. The host-tissue reaction to the implants was evaluated semiquantitatively and similar tendencies were noted for all graft substitutes: initially highly reactive but decreasing with time implanted. Complete bone-bridging was observed 18 weeks after implantation with PLA/ 5 wt % beta-TCP (PLA/TCP) and PLA/5 wt % HA (PLA/HA) scaffolds as assessed by histology and radiography. We show here for the first time that this solvent-free technique provides a promising approach in tissue engineering demonstrating both the biocompatibility and osteoconductivity of the processed structures in vivo.
    Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 11/2007; 83(1):41-51. · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Activation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) by VEGF-C initiates lymphangiogenesis by promoting lymphatic proliferation and migration. However, it is unclear whether VEGFR-3 signaling is required beyond these initial stages, namely during the organization of new lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) into functional capillaries. Furthermore, the role of VEGFR-2, which is also expressed on LECs and binds VEGF-C, is unclear. We addressed these questions by selectively neutralizing VEGFR-3 and/or VEGFR-2 for various time periods in an adult model of lymphangiogenesis in regenerating skin. While blocking either VEGFR-2 or VEGFR-3 with specific antagonist mAbs (DC101 and mF4-31C1, respectively) prior to lymphatic migration prevented lymphangiogenesis, blocking VEGFR-3 subsequent to migration did not affect organization into functional capillaries, and VEGFR-2 blocking had only a small hindrance on organization. These findings were confirmed in vitro using human LECs and anti-human antagonist mAbs (IMC-1121a and hF4-3C5): both VEGFR-2 and -3 signaling were required for migration and proliferation, but tubulogenesis in 3D cultures was unaffected by VEGFR-3 blocking and partially hindered by VEGFR-2 blocking. Furthermore, both in vitro and in vivo, while VEGFR-3 blocking had no effect on LEC organization, coneutralization of VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3 completely prevented lymphatic organization. Our findings demonstrate that cooperative signaling of VEGFR-2 and -3 is necessary for lymphatic migration and proliferation, but VEGFR-3 is redundant with VEGFR-2 for LEC organization into functional capillaries.
    The FASEB Journal 05/2007; 21(4):1003-12. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • H G Schmökel, S Stein, H Radke, K Hurter, P Schawalder
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the here described case series was to develop and evaluate the minimally invasive percutaneous osteosynthesis for the plate fixation of tibial fractures in dogs and cats. Six dogs and four cats with shaft fractures of the tibia were treated using minimally invasive percutaneous osteosynthesis. Follow-up radiographs four to six weeks after fracture fixation were evaluated for fracture healing. For the long-term follow-up (minimum 2.4 years), owners were contacted by phone to complete a questionnaire. All fractures healed without the need for a second procedure. Follow-up radiographs obtained after four to six weeks in seven cases showed advanced bony healing with callus formation and filling of the fracture gaps with calcified tissue in all seven. All the patients had a good to excellent long-term result with full limb function. The time needed for regaining full limb use was two to three months. Minimally invasive percutaneous osteosynthesis seems to be a useful technique for the treatment of tibial shaft fractures in dogs and cats.
    Journal of Small Animal Practice 04/2007; 48(3):157-60. · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present here the biological performance in supporting tissue regeneration of hybrid hydrogels consisting of genetically engineered protein polymers that carry specific features of the natural extracellular matrix, cross-linked with reactive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Specifically, the protein polymers contain the cell adhesion motif RGD, which mediates integrin receptor binding, and degradation sites for plasmin and matrix-metalloproteinases, both being proteases implicated in natural matrix remodeling. Biochemical assays as well as in vitro cell culture experiments confirmed the ability of these protein-PEG hydrogels to promote specific cellular adhesion and to exhibit degradability by the target enzymes. Cell culture experiments demonstrated that proteolytic sensitivity and suitable mechanical properties were critical for three-dimensional cell migration inside these synthetic matrixes. In vivo, protein-PEG matrixes were tested as a carrier of bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP-2) to heal critical-sized defects in a rat calvarial defect model. The results underscore the importance of fine-tuning material properties of provisional therapeutic matrixes to induce cellular responses conducive to tissue repair. In particular, a lack of rhBMP or insufficient degradability of the protein-PEG matrix prevented healing of bone defects or remodeling and replacement of the artificial matrix. This work confirms the feasibility of attaining desired biological responses in vivo by engineering material properties through the design of single components at the molecular level. The combination of polymer science and recombinant DNA technology emerges as a powerful tool for the development of novel biomaterials.
    Biomacromolecules 12/2006; 7(11):3019-29. · 5.37 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Delivery of biodegradable nanoparticles to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), specifically dendritic cells (DCs), has potential for immunotherapy. This study investigates the delivery of 20, 45, and 100nm diameter poly(ethylene glycol)-stabilized poly(propylene sulfide) (PPS) nanoparticles to DCs in the lymph nodes. These nanoparticles consist of a cross-linked rubbery core of PPS surrounded by a hydrophilic corona of poly(ethylene glycol). The PPS domain is capable of carrying hydrophobic drugs and degrades within oxidative environments. 20 nm particles were most readily taken up into lymphatics following interstitial injection, while both 20 and 45nm nanoparticles showed significant retention in lymph nodes, displaying a consistent and strong presence at 24, 72, 96 and 120h post-injection. Nanoparticles were internalized by up to 40-50% of lymph node DCs (and APCs) without the use of a targeting ligand, and the site of internalization was in the lymph nodes rather than at the injection site. Finally, an increase in nanoparticle-containing DCs (and other APCs) was seen at 96h vs. 24h, suggesting an infiltration of these cells to lymph nodes. Thus, PPS nanoparticles of 20-45nm have the potential for immunotherapeutic applications that specifically target DCs in lymph nodes.
    Journal of Controlled Release 06/2006; 112(1):26-34. · 7.63 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of canine meniscal lesions. The aim of this study is to describe the MR appearance of meniscal lesions in dogs with experimentally induced cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) deficiency. The pilot study revealed dogs weighing approximately 10 kg to be too small for meniscal evaluation on low-field MRI. In the main study, dogs weighing approximately 35 kg were used. The left CCL was transected and low-field MRI was performed regularly until 13 months post-surgery. Normal menisci were defined as grade 0. Intrameniscal lesions not reaching any surface corresponded to grade 1 if focal and to grade 2 if linear or diffuse. Grade 3 lesions consisted in linear tears penetrating a meniscal surface. Grade 4 lesions included complex signal changes or meniscal distortion. Between 2 and 13 months post-surgery, all dogs developed grade 4 lesions in the medial meniscus. Most of them corresponded to longitudinal or bucket handle tears on arthroscopy and necropsy. Two dogs showed grade 3 lesions reaching the tibial surface of the lateral meniscus on MRI but not in arthroscopy. Such tears are difficult to evaluate arthroscopically; MRI provides more accurate information about the tibial meniscal surface. Grades 1 and 2 lesions could not be differentiated from presumably normal menisci with our imaging technique. An MRI grading system better adapted to canine lesions has yet to be developed. MRI is a helpful tool for the diagnosis of complete tears in the canine meniscus, especially in larger dogs.
    Veterinary Radiology &amp Ultrasound 01/2006; 47(6):515-22. · 1.41 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was (1) to test whether or not platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or commercially available fibrin can increase bone regeneration compared with non-treated defects and (2) to test whether or not PRP or fibrin increases bone regeneration when used as a delivery system for recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2). In 16 New Zealand White rabbits, four evenly distributed 6 mm diameter defects were drilled into the calvarial bone. The following five treatment modalities were randomly allocated to all 64 defects: (0) untreated control, (1) fibrin alone, (2) PRP alone, (3) fibrin with 15 microg rhBMP-2 and (4) PRP with 15 microg rhBMP-2. For the fibrin gels and the PRP containing rhBMP-2, the 15 microg rhBMP-2 was incorporated by precipitation within the matrices before their gelation. After 4 weeks, the animals were sacrificed and the calvarial bones were removed for histological preparation. The area fraction of newly formed bone was determined in vertical sections from the middle of the defect by applying histomorphometrical analysis. A mean area fraction of newly formed bone was found within the former defect of 23.4% (+/-13.5%) in the control sites, of 28.4% (+/-17.4%) in the fibrin sites and of 34.5% (+/-17.4%) in the PRP sites. The statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in bone formation between the three groups (ANOVA). Addition of 15 microg rhBMP-2 in the fibrin gel (59.9+/-20.3%) and the PRP gels (63.1+/-25.3%) increased bone formation significantly. No significant difference was observed between sites, where PRP or fibrin has been used as a delivery system for rhBMP-2 (ANOVA). In conclusion, the application of fibrin gels or PRP gels to bone defects is not superior to leaving the defect untreated. Regarding the amount of bone formation, the application of 15 microg rhBMP-2 in bone defects enhances the healing significantly at 4 weeks. In this animal model, commercially available fibrin and autologous PRP gels are equally effective as delivery systems for rhBMP-2.
    Clinical Oral Implants Research 01/2006; 16(6):676-82. · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IL-1 and TNF are important proinflammatory cytokines implicated in both antimicrobial host defense and pathogenesis of diseases with an immune-mediated and/or inflammatory component. Respective studies in the dog have been hampered by the unavailability of reagents allowing the specific measurement of canine cytokine proteins and the effect of canine cytokine neutralization by Ab. Starting with recombinant canine (rcan) IL-1beta and rcanTNF, four polyclonal antisera and 22 mAb specific for rcanIL-1beta and rcanTNF were generated. Their usefulness in neutralization assays was determined. Using cytokine-containing supernatants of canine cells in bioassays, polyclonal antisera neutralized either canine IL-1beta or TNF. TNF was also neutralized by three antibodies developed in this study and one commercial mAb. The usefulness of monoclonal and polyclonal Ab in canine cytokine-specific Ab capture ELISA's was assessed. This resulted in the identification of a commercial mAb combination and one pair developed in this study allowing low levels of TNF to be detected by antibody capture ELISA. The detection limit was 141 pg/ml rcanTNF for both combinations. Using rcanIL-1beta as an antigen allowed the detection of lower concentrations of rcanIL-1beta (20 pg/ml, on the average) by a pair of polyclonal antisera than when monoclonals were used. By using such IL-1beta-specific and TNF-specific ELISA's, the respective cytokines were detected in supernatants of canine PBMC stimulated with LPS or heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes and interferon-gamma combined. Thus, monoclonal and polyclonal reagents were identified allowing the quantitation of canine IL-1beta and TNF production in vitro, and the neutralization of these cytokines.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 09/2005; 107(1-2):27-39. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) is based upon the clinical orthopaedic examination and the radiographic assessment, both of which can be non-specific and insensitive in early joint disease. The aim of our study was to investigate if there is an increase in serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in degenerative joint disease (DJD) and if CRP could be used to help diagnose OA. We also wished to investigate whether it was possible to distinguish a joint with clinically and radiographically confirmed OA from a healthy joint by comparing lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels within the synovial fluid and the serum. We have shown a difference in synovial LDH levels between diseased and healthy joints (P<0.0001). There was also a significant difference between LDH in arthritic synovial fluid and serum, with no correlation between the values. Despite the fact that the values of our clinical patients tended to be higher than the values of our control group (P=0.05) all measured values were within the normal limits of previous publications. From these data, we conclude that single measurements of serum CRP do not permit detection of OA in clinical patients and that serum LDH is not a reliable marker for osteoarthritis. LDH levels in the synovial fluid could be of diagnostic value for identifying osteoarthritis.
    The Veterinary Journal 04/2005; 169(2):281-5. · 2.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most growth factors naturally involved in development and regeneration demonstrate strong binding to the extracellular matrix and are retained there until being locally mobilized by cells. In spite of this feedback between cell activity and growth factor mobilization in the extracellular matrix, this approach has not been extensively explored in therapeutic situations. We present an engineered bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) fusion protein that mimics such function in a surgically relevant matrix, fibrin, incorporated into the matrix until it is locally liberated by cell surface-associated proteases. A tripartite fusion protein, denoted TG-pl-BMP-2, was designed and produced recombinantly. An N-terminal transglutaminase substrate (TG) domain provides covalent attachment to fibrin during coagulation under the influence of the blood transglutaminase factor XIIIa. A central plasmin substrate (pl) domain provides a cleavage site for local release of the attached growth factor from the fibrin matrix under the influence of cell-activated plasmin. A C-terminal human BMP-2 domain provides osteogenic activity. TG-pl-BMP-2 in fibrin was evaluated in vivo in critical-size craniotomy defects in rats, where it induced 76% more defect healing with bone at 3 weeks with a dose of 1 mug/defect than wildtype BMP-2 in fibrin. After a dosing study in rabbits, the engineered growth factor in fibrin was evaluated in a prospective clinical study for pancarpal fusion in dogs, where it induced statistically faster and more extensive bone bridging than equivalent treatment with cancellous bone autograft. The strong healing response shown by fibrin including a bound BMP-2 variant suggests that with the combination of bound growth factor and ingrowth matrix, it may be possible to improve upon the natural growth factor and even upon tissue autograft.
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 03/2005; 89(3):253-62. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To test a non-glycosylated recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (ngly-rhBMP-2)/fibrin composite, which has been shown experimentally to enhance healing of bone defects in rodents, in a clinical case series of dogs and cats undergoing treatment for fracture non-unions and arthrodesis. A ngly-rhBMP-2/fibrin composite was applied in 41 sites in 38 dogs and cats for which a cancellous bone autograft was indicated, replacing the graft. Bridging of the bone defect with functional bone healing was achieved in 90 per cent of the arthrodesis and fracture nonunions treated in this manner. This prospective clinical study demonstrates the beneficial effects of ngly-rhBMP-2 in a specially designed fibrin matrix on the treatment of bone defects, and validates the use of this composite as an alternative to bone autografts in dogs and cats.
    Journal of Small Animal Practice 02/2005; 46(1):17-21. · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Five cats with large, distal extremity abrasion wounds were treated with an autogenous, full-thickness, mesh skin graft. Survival of the mesh grafts in all five cats was considered between 90 and 100%. Successful grafting requires asepsis, an adequately prepared recipient bed consisting of healthy granulation tissue, proper harvesting and preparation of the graft, meticulous surgical technique and strict postoperative care. Factors that are essential for the survival of skin grafts include good contact between the graft and the recipient bed, normal tension on the sutured graft, strict immobilization after grafting and prevention of accumulation of blood or serum under the graft. Meshing the graft provides more graft flexibility over uneven surfaces and allows adequate drainage. In contrast to previous proposals, the authors recommend no bandage change before the fourth day after grafting. Full-thickness mesh skin grafting can be used to successfully treat large distal skin wounds in cats.
    SAT Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde 07/2004; 146(6):277-83. · 0.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cell interactions with the extracellular matrix play important roles in guiding tissue morphogenesis. The matrix stimulates cells to influence such things as differentiation and the cells actively remodel the matrix via local proteolytic activity. We have designed synthetic hydrogel networks that participate in this interplay: They signal cells via bound adhesion and growth factors, and they also respond to the remodeling influence of cell-associated proteases. Poly(ethylene glycol)-bis-vinylsulfone was crosslinked by a Michael-type addition reaction with a peptide containing three cysteine residues, the peptide sequence being cleavable between each cysteine residue by the cell-associated protease plasmin. Cells were able to invade gel networks that contained adhesion peptides and were crosslinked by plasmin-sensitive peptides, while materials lacking either of these two characteristics resisted cell infiltration. Incorporated bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) induced bone healing in a rat model in materials that were both adhesive and plasmin-sensitive, while materials lacking plasmin sensitivity resisted formation of bone within the material. Furthermore, when a heparin bridge was incorporated as a BMP-2 affinity site, mimicking yet another characteristic of the extracellular matrix, statistically improved bone regeneration was observed.
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 05/2004; 86(1):27-36. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A novel form of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) was explored for effective incorporation and long-term retention into fibrin ingrowth matrices. The solubility of native BMP-2 is greatly dependent on its glycosylation. To enhance retention of BMP-2 in fibrin matrices, a nonglycosylated form (nglBMP-2), which is less soluble than the native glycosylated protein, was produced recombinantly and evaluated in critical-size defects in the rat calvarium (group n=6). When 1 or 20 microg nglBMP-2 was incorporated by precipitation within the matrix, 74 +/- 4% and 98 +/- 2% healing was observed in the rat calvarium, respectively, as judged radiographically by closure of the defect at 3 weeks. More soluble forms of BMP-2, used as controls, induced less healing, demonstrating a positive correlation between low solubility, retention in vitro, and healing in vivo. Subsequently, the utility of nglBMP-2 was explored in a prospective veterinary clinical trial for inter-carpal fusion in dogs, replacing the standard-of-care, namely autologous cancellous autograft, with nglBMP-2 in fibrin. In a study of 10 sequential canine patients, fibrin with 600 microg/ml nglBMP-2 performed better than autograft in the first weeks of bone healing and comparably thereafter. Furthermore, a greater fraction of animals treated with nglBMP-2 in fibrin demonstrated bone bridging across each of the treated joints at both 12 and 17 weeks than in animals treated with autograft. These results suggest that evaluation in a human clinical setting of nonglycosylated BMP-2 in fibrin matrices might be fruitful.
    Journal of Orthopaedic Research 04/2004; 22(2):376-81. · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To report the results of the treatment of nonunions with nonglycosylated recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (nglBMP-2) delivered from a designed fibrin matrix. Experimental trial in rodents and prospective clinical study in dogs and cats with nonunion fractures. Twenty adult female, albino, Sprague-Dawley rats; 8 client-owned cats and dogs. After development of a fibrin matrix and evaluation of nglBMP-2 in a rodent femoral defect model, 8 consecutive long bone nonunion fractures (no progression in healing in > or = 3 months), were treated using 300 microg nglBMP-2 in a liquid fibrin precursor, injected into the defect gap after fracture revision and stabilization, or through a stab incision into the fracture site. The fibrin matrix was designed to clot in the wound after 60 seconds and to release the nglBMP-2 continuously over several days. Using only fibrin gel, 7% of the rat femoral defect was filled with new formed bone compared with 79% defect filling using 2 microg nglBMP-2 (P=.006). Five and 10 microg nglBMP in fibrin resulted in union of all femoral defects with complete filling of the gap with new bone. Bony bridging and clinical healing was achieved in 7 patients within 24 weeks of administration of nglBMP-2. Application of nglBMP-2 in a functional matrix can induce bone healing. Controlled release of nglBMP-2 from a fibrin matrix mimics the natural fracture hematoma. nglBMP-2/fibrin can successfully replace a cancellous bone autograft in fracture treatment with an associated reduction in graft donor site morbidity and surgical time.
    Veterinary Surgery 02/2004; 33(2):112-8. · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Local, controlled induction of angiogenesis remains a challenge that limits tissue engineering approaches to replace or restore diseased tissues. We present a new class of bioactive synthetic hydrogel matrices based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and synthetic peptides that exploits the activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) alongside the base matrix functionality for cellular ingrowth, that is, induction of cell adhesion by pendant RGD-containing peptides and provision of cell-mediated remodeling by cross-linking matrix metalloproteinase substrate peptides. By using a Michael-type addition reaction, we incorporated variants of VEGF121 and VEGF165 covalently within the matrix, available for cells as they invade and locally remodel the material. The functionality of the matrix-conjugated VEGF was preserved and was critical for in vitro endothelial cell survival and migration within the matrix environment. Consistent with a scheme of locally restricted availability of VEGF, grafting of these VEGF-modified hydrogel matrices atop the chick chorioallontoic membrane evoked strong new blood vessel formation precisely at the area of graft-membrane contact. When implanted subcutaneously in rats, these VEGF-containing matrices were completely remodeled into native, vascularized tissue. This type of synthetic, biointeractive matrix with integrated angiogenic growth factor activity, presented and released only upon local cellular demand, could become highly useful in a number of clinical healing applications of local therapeutic angiogenesis.
    The FASEB Journal 01/2004; 17(15):2260-2. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heterotopic ossification is a frequent complication in patients who have suffered head and neck traumas or have undergone total hip replacement. In this report, stable folding variants of the natural occurring osteoinductive BMPs were shown to act as inhibitors for heterotopic ossification. The most effective BMP folding variant construct performed even better than the natural occurring BMP antagonist Noggin because it also inhibited calcium deposition of pre-osteoblastic cells. Signal transduction through receptor and ligand binding depends on the proper folding of all partners, especially when it involves the formation of a heterotetramer. In the case, the receptor binding of the ligand can be uncoupled from signal transduction, and folding variants of a ligand can be developed into antagonists of the natural bioactivity of the ligand. Here we present a deletion mutant of a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) folding variant capable of inhibiting the bone-inducing action of natural occurring BMPs. Deletion mutants and site-directed mutants of BMP folding variants were generated and tested for their ability to reduce alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization in a pre-osteoblastic cell line. In vivo activity of the optimized folding variant was determined in a heterotopic ossification model in rodents and in two Xenopus laevis model systems. Biosensor interaction analysis was used to determine the affinity of the optimized BMP folding variant to the extracellular domain of BMP receptors. In vitro and in vivo tests in rodents revealed that the structural elements of the wrist epitope combined with finger 2 and a positive charge proximal to the tip of this finger are sufficient to induce osteoinhibition with deletion mutants and folding variants of mature BMP-4. The inhibitor designed to suppress heterotopic ossification showed BMP antagonist activity in embryos and animal caps of X. laevis. Binding studies of the inhibitor to ectodomains of type I and type II BMP receptors revealed a concentration-dependent binding, especially to the high-affinity BMP receptor. Deletion mutants of BMP folding variants are a new form of BMP antagonists and act through competition with osteoinductive BMP for BMP receptor binding. The excellent in vivo performance of the optimized folding variant is because of its ability to block signaling of endogenous BMPs deposited in the extracellular matrix even more effectively than the natural occurring BMP antagonist Noggin.
    Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 01/2004; 18(12):2142-51. · 6.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Arthrodesis is often necessary as the definitive treatment of degenerative joint disease. In the horse, the extended bone healing period presents particular challenges and requires long rest periods. In the last years bone growth factors were isolated, which then have been shown to accelerate bone healing after arthrodesis in dogs. This report documents the use of bone growth factors to accelerate bony fusion in a horse. Specifically, nonglycosylated rhBMP-2, was used in combination with arthrodesis in a 5-year-old Warmblood mare with severe degenerative joint disease in the left front pastern joint. Surgical technique included the stabilization of the arthrodesis with three 5.5 mm cortical screws inserted in lag fashion. The articular cartilage was partially removed without transsecting the collateral ligaments. Nonglycosylated rhBMP-2 was administered into sagittal defects created in the centrally located cartilage. Follow-up clinical examinations and radiographs revealed a successful outcome within 10 months after surgery with the horse reaching the intended athletic use. The nonglycosylated rhBMP-2 / fibrin composite was easy to apply and well tolerated. The composite might be useful to promote joint fusion and fracture healing in combination with internal fixation in equines.
    Pferdeheilkunde 01/2004; 20(5):442-446. · 0.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
114.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006
    • Universität Bern
      Berna, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2003–2005
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2004
    • ETH Zurich
      • Institute for Biomedical Engineering
      Zürich, ZH, Switzerland
    • University of Cape Town
      Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
  • 2002
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
      Pasadena, CA, United States