Nanotheranostics 2020; 4(4):242-255. doi:10.7150/ntno.46408


Local delivery of insulin/IGF-1 for bone regeneration: carriers, strategies, and effects

Xiaoxuan Zhang1,2*, Helin Xing3*, Feng Qi4, Hongchen Liu5✉, Lizeng Gao6✉, Xing Wang1,2,5✉

1. Shanxi Medical University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Taiyuan 030001, China.
2. Shanxi Province Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases Prevention and New Materials.
3. Department of Prosthodontics, Beijing Stomatological Hospital and School of Stomatology, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100050, China.
4. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
5. Institute of Stomatology & Oral Maxilla Facial Key Laboratory, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing, 100853, China.
6. CAS Engineering Laboratory for Nanozyme, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Zhang X, Xing H, Qi F, Liu H, Gao L, Wang X. Local delivery of insulin/IGF-1 for bone regeneration: carriers, strategies, and effects. Nanotheranostics 2020; 4(4):242-255. doi:10.7150/ntno.46408. Available from

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Bone defects caused by trauma, tumor resection, congenital malformation and infection are still a major challenge for clinicians. Biomimetic bone materials have attracted more and more attention in science and industry. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) have been increasingly recognized as an inducible factor for osteogenesis and angiogenesis. Spatiotemporal release of insulin may serve as the promising strategy. Considering the successful application of nanoparticles in drug loading, various insulin delivery systems have been developed, including (poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid), PLGA), hydroxyapatite (HA), gelatin, chitosan, alginate, and (γ-glutamic acid)/β-tricalcium phosphate, γ-PGA/β-TCP). Here, we have reviewed the progress on nanoparticles carrying insulin/IGF for bone regeneration. In addition, the key regulatory mechanism of insulin in bone regeneration is also summarized. The future application strategies and the challenges in bone regeneration are also discussed.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, Insulin, Insulin-like growth factor, Bone regeneration, Angiogenesis, Osteogenesis