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Osteogenic induction of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells in novel synthetic polymer-hydrogel matrices

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Publication Date
  • 060100 Biochemistry And Cell Biology
  • 069900 Other Biological Sciences
  • 090300 Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Engineering


The aim of this project was to investigate the in vitro osteogenic potential of human mesenchymal progenitor cells in novel matrix architectures built by means of a three-dimensional bioresorbable synthetic framework in combination with a hydrogel. Human mesenchymal progenitor cells (hMPCs) were isolated from a human bone marrow aspirate by gradient centrifugation. Before in vitro engineering of scaffold-hMPC constructs, the adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential was demonstrated by staining of neutral lipids and induction of bone-specific proteins, respectively. After expansion in monolayer cultures, the cells were enzymatically detached and then seeded in combination with a hydrogel into polycaprolactone (PCL) and polycaprolactone-hydroxyapatite (PCL-HA) frameworks. This scaffold design concept is characterized by novel matrix architecture, good mechanical properties, and slow degradation kinetics of the framework and a biomimetic milieu for cell delivery and proliferation. To induce osteogenic differentiation, the specimens were cultured in an osteogenic cell culture medium and were maintained in vitro for 6 weeks. Cellular distribution and viability within three-dimensional hMPC bone grafts were documented by scanning electron microscopy, cell metabolism assays, and confocal laser microscopy. Secretion of the osteogenic marker molecules type I procollagen and osteocalcin was analyzed by semiquantitative immunocytochemistry assays. Alkaline phosphatase activity was visualized by p-nitrophenyl phosphate substrate reaction. During osteogenic stimulation, hMPCs proliferated toward and onto the PCL and PCL-HA scaffold surfaces and metabolic activity increased, reaching a plateau by day 15. The temporal pattern of bone-related marker molecules produced by in vitro tissue-engineered scaffold-cell constructs revealed that hMPCs differentiated better within the biomimetic matrix architecture along the osteogenic lineage.

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