Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Abhijit Patwardhan


A variety of synthetic bone graft materials such as the polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) have been investigated as alternatives to current tissue based bone graft materials. In this study, efforts have been made to improve the tissue-PLGA interface by immobilizing bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) in an oriented manner on scaffolds using covalently immobilized heparin. The results demonstrated a four-fold increase in covalently immobilized heparin compared to non-specific heparin attachment. Furthermore, the scaffolds with covalently attached heparin retained approximately three-fold more BMP-2 than did either scaffolds with no heparin attached or scaffolds with non-specific heparin attachment. The activity of scaffolds with BMP-2 immobilized in various manners was examined using an alkaline phosphatase assay on C3H10T1/2-seeded scaffolds. These results indicated approximately twice the amount of activity with scaffolds that had BMP-2 immobilized with covalently attached heparin than on scaffolds with adsorption of BMP-2 and a three-fold increase in activity when compared to scaffolds that had non-specific heparin attachment as the mechanism for BMP-2 immobilization. These results demonstrated that PLGA with covalently linked heparin has potential to immobilize BMP-2 in a specific orientation that is favorable for cell-receptor binding, leading to the more efficient use of the bone-growth factor.