Abstract Rabbit bone marrow cells were inoculated on 3D scaffolds of poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx) to evaluate their in vitro biocompatibilities. It was found that PHBHHx had the best performance on attachment, proliferation of bone marrow cells. The cells on PHBHHx scaffolds presented typical osteoblast phenotypes: round cell shape, high alkaline phosphotase (ALP) activity, strong calcium deposition, and fibrillar collagen synthesis. After incubation for 10 days, cells grown on PHBHHx scaffolds were approximately 2×10 5 ml −1, 40% more than that on PHB scaffolds and 60% more than that on PLA scaffolds. ALP activity of the cells grown on PHBHHx scaffolds was up to about 65 U/g scaffolds, 50% higher than that of PHB and PLA, respectively. The scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) results showed that PHBHHx scaffolds had the appropriate roughness for osteoblast attachment and proliferation comparing with PHB and PLA. All these indicated that PHBHHx was a suitable biomaterial for osteoblast attachment, proliferation and differentiation from bone marrow cells.