Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Drug Releasing Porous Materials for Tissue Repair and Regeneration

Technology #3600


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been shown to trigger new bone formation in animal models. Since the delivery of BMPs in a solution phase does not result in bone formation, strategies have focused on developing collagen matrices for the delivery of BMPs in vivo. Collagen matrices have been successful in preclinical and human clinical trials but still hold several shortcomings: (1) retention of BMPs in the matrix for extended periods of time, (2) difficulty in controlling biodegradability and three-dimensional structures of the matrix, and (3) controlling release kinetics of BMPs from the matrices.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed three-dimensional porous materials for the delivery of biomolecules (e.g. BMPs). Features of this invention include: (1) efficient incorporation of biomolecules within nanospheres, followed by incorporation of these nanospheres in an interconnected porous structure, (2) temporal and spatial control over biomolecule release, (3) a highly interconnected porous structure that enables vascularization, and (4) biodegradability. The scaffolds are capable of long-term, controlled delivery of BMPs to induce bone formation at ectopic sites in animal studies. This approach offers a new delivery method for a variety of biomolecules for tissue engineering and a new design for delivery of BMPs for bone regeneration. Publication: “The enhancement of osteogenesis by nano-fibrous scaffolds incorporating rhBMP-7 nanospheres,” Biomaterials 2007; 28: p. 2087-96.

Applications and Advantages


  • Tissue engineering e.g. bone regeneration.


  • Controlled and prolonged delivery of biomolecules.
  • Biodegradable.
  • High porosity within structure enables vascularization.