Eric Madsen

Oral Health Sciences, D.D.S. - Ph.D. Candidate

Repairing critical-sized bone defects remains a significant clinical challenge. Designing biomaterials that can recruit specific populations of cells and guide tissue regeneration is key to solving this problem. Our laboratory has created a dual-functional peptide DPI-VTK by combining the mineral binding VTK sequence with the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) binding DPI sequence in order to create an interface between biomimetic hydroxyapatite biomaterials and MSCs. We hypothesize that DPI-VTK functionalized apatite can specifically recruit host MSCs into a bone defect, leading to enhanced regeneration. We have also combined VTK with an osteoinductive bone morphogenetic protein (BMP-2) derived peptide sequence. By co—adsorbing this BMP-mimetic peptide along with DPI-VTK onto hydroxyapatite, we aim to create a dual-functionalized biomaterial that can both recruit host MSCs and induce them to form bone.