Given the inadequacies of existing clinic tracking strategies, such as isotopic tracer techniques, one of the major thrusts in protein-based tissue engineering substitutes prior to use in clinic is to develop a safe technique that can effectively track their degradation in vivo. Keeping in view the possible application of a natural polymer, zein as a novel bone substitute, with the advantages of good bio-compatibility, bio-degradability and outstanding mechanical properties, we attempted here to construct a HPLC-MS/MS method to track the in vivo degradation of zein porous scaffold. Histological observation and immunohistochemistry analysis using the intramuscular implantation model of rats clearly indicated that zein porous scaffold has certain osteoinductive ability. More importantly, HPLC-MS/MS detected the changes of amino acids levels in plasma and different organs after the implantation of scaffolds. With these findings, it could be concluded that HPLC-MS/MS might be a potential method to track the in vivo degradation of protein-based tissue engineering substitutes.
- porous scaffold
- protein tracking in vivo