Electrospun Collagen Scaffold Bio-Functionalized with Recombinant ICOS-Fc: An Advanced Approach to Promote Bone Remodelling
The treatment of osteoporotic fractures is a severe clinical issue, especially in cases where low support is provided, e.g., pelvis. New treatments aim to stimulate bone formation in compromised scenarios by using multifunctional biomaterials combined with biofabrication techniques to produce 3D structures (scaffolds) that can support bone formation. Bone&rsquo;s extracellular matrix (ECM) is mainly composed of type I collagen, making this material highly desirable in bone tissue engineering applications, and its bioactivity can be improved by incorporating specific biomolecules. In this work, type I collagen membranes were produced by electrospinning showing a fibre diameter below 200 nm. An optimized one-step strategy allowed to simultaneously crosslink the electrospun membranes and bind ICOS-Fc, a biomolecule able to reversibly inhibit osteoclast activity. The post-treatment did not alter the ECM-like nanostructure of the meshes and the physicochemical properties of collagen. UV-Vis and TGA analyses confirmed both crosslinking and grafting of ICOS-Fc onto the collagen fibres. The preservation of the biological activity of grafted ICOS-Fc was evidenced by the ability to affect the migratory activity of ICOSL-positive cells. The combination of ICOS-Fc with electrospun collagen represents a promising strategy to design multifunctional devices able to boost bone regeneration in osteoporotic fractures.