Osteoporosis is a serious silent bone disease characterized by a great loss in bone mass with a higher prevalence in women than men. The most frequently occurring hip fractures are responsible for decreasing life quality, including mortality. The treatment of osteoporosis is a challenge; therefore, novel solutions based on advanced tissue engineering are urgently needed. The bones tissue architecture is controlled by two main factors, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG). OPG can antagonize the binding of RANKL, therefore the bone resorption is dependent on RANKL to OPG ratio. Dysregulation in such a ratio leads to an imbalance between bone resorption and formations, which causes osteoporosis. The most frequently used drug for osteoporosis treatment is alendronate (ALN), a member of bisphosphonate sodium drugs.
The project aims to propose a novel bioink for the construction of customizable, high porosity scaffolds with encapsulated ALN for improved osteoporosis treatment. Patient-specific 3D scaffolds with the optimized ink will provide high osteoinductivity and sustained drug release to inhibit osteoclastogenesis.