Low drug concentration in the tuberculosis (TB) lesion and bone defects or nonunion after debridement are two major problems that occur in the course of treating osteo-articular TB. Thus, the combination of drug-delivery system and bone tissue repair appears to be the most promising option for osteoarticular TB treatment.
Herein, we report a novel anti-TB dual delivery system based on rifapentine polylactic acid microspheres (RPMs) to treat infections, with the addition of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) seeded in hydroxyapatite/tricalcium phosphate (HA/TCP) to promote bone formation. Cell proliferation, osteogenesis, and apoptosis were performed to investigate the effects of rifapentine on ASCs. The RPMs were synthesized by emulsion-solvent evaporation method, and then the monolayer composite (ASC + RPM) and three-dimensional (3D) composite scaffold (ASC + RPM + HA/TCP) were constructed, respectively. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and real-time PCR were used for determining the osteogenic differentiation. The concentrations of rifapentine resulting from the composites were detected.
The results showed that rifapentine has no influence on ASCs proliferation and osteogenesis when the drug concentration was below 20 µg/mL, which was significantly higher than minimal inhibitory concentration. The drug loading and encapsulation efficiency of RPMs were 40.56%±2.63% and 70.24%±2.18%, respectively. The proliferation of the cells in monolayer was higher than that in 3D composite, and the addition of RPMs slightly increased the proliferation. The ALP activity and gene expression of osteocalcin and osteopontin were higher in the 3D composite than those in the monolayer. Good biocompatibility was observed by microscopic image and H&E stain. The release tests revealed that the 3D composite exhibited sustained release profiles of rifapentine for 76 days. The dual delivery systems in 3D composite could moderate the burst release and extend the length of release time when compared to single delivery in monolayers.