Osteo-enhanced human mesenchymal stem cells (OEhMSCs) secrete an osteogenic cell matrix (OCM) that mimics the composition of anabolic bone tissue and strongly enhances OEhMSC retention and subsequent bone repair
in vivo. Here we demonstrate a system for rapid production of gelatin methacrylate microcarriers coated with decellularized OCM (OCM-GelMA) to serve as an injectable bone graft material with high osteogenic potential comparable to a clinically utilized gold standard, bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP-2). OEhMSCs seeded onto OCM-GelMA secreted high levels of osteogenic and angiogenic cytokines and expressed higher levels of BMP-2 relative to OEhMSCs on bare GelMA microcarriers. OEhMSCs co-administered with OCM-GelMA microcarriers resulted in enhanced healing of murine critical-sized calvarial defects, which was comparable to that achieved with a BMP-2-laden gelatin sponge control. When tested in a murine femoral defect model, OCM-GelMA co-administered with OEhMSCs also induced profound bone growth within the defect. We submit that OCM-GelMA promotes OEhMSC paracrine release to accelerate bone repair, indicating their potential as a bone graft for use in minimally invasive surgery.