Biomaterials (v.27, #36)

Calendar (I).

Introduction by Laura Suggs; Krishnendu Roy (5967).

Co-culture of human embryonic stem cells with murine embryonic fibroblasts on microwell-patterned substrates by Ali Khademhosseini; Lino Ferreira; James Blumling; Judy Yeh; Jeffrey M. Karp; Junji Fukuda; Robert Langer (5968-5977).
Human embryonic stem (hES) cells are generally cultured as cell clusters on top of a feeder layer formed by mitotically inactivated murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to maintain their undifferentiated state. This co-culture system, which is typically used to expand the population of undifferentiated hES cells, presents several challenges since it is difficult to control cell cluster size. Large cell clusters tend to differentiate at the borders, and clusters with different sizes may lead to heterogeneous differentiation patterns within embryoid bodies. In this work, we develop a new approach to culture hES cells with controlled cluster size and number through merging microfabrication, and biomaterials technologies. Polymeric microwells were fabricated and used to control the size and uniformity of hES cell clusters in co-culture with MEFs. The results show that it is possible to culture hES cells homogeneously while keeping their undifferentiated state as confirmed by the expression of stem cell markers octamer binding protein 4 (Oct-4) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). In addition, these clusters can be recovered from the microwells to generate nearly homogeneous cell aggregates for differentiation experiments.
Keywords: Patterned co-cultures; Embryonic stem cells; Murine embryonic fibroblasts; Microwells; Soft lithography;

We have previously demonstrated that mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells differentiated on three-dimensional (3D), highly porous, tantalum-based scaffolds (Cytomatrix™) have significantly higher hematopoietic differentiation efficiency than those cultured under conventional two-dimensional (2D) tissue culture conditions. In addition, ES cell-seeded scaffolds cultured inside spinner bioreactors showed further enhancement in hematopoiesis compared to static conditions. In the present study, we evaluated how these various biomaterial-based culture conditions, e.g. 2D vs. 3D scaffolds and static vs. dynamic, influence the global gene expression profile of differentiated ES cells. We report that compared to 2D tissue culture plates, cells differentiated on porous, Cytomatrix™ scaffolds possess significantly higher expression levels of extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes, as well as genes that regulate cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. In addition, these differences in gene expression were more pronounced in 3D dynamic culture compared to 3D static culture. We report specific genes that are either uniquely expressed under each condition or are quantitatively regulated, i.e. over expressed or inhibited by a specific culture environment. We conclude that that biomaterial-based 3D cultures, especially under dynamic conditions, might favor efficient hematopoietic differentiation of ES cells by stimulating increased expression of specific ECM proteins, growth factors and cell adhesion related genes while significantly down-regulating genes that act to inhibit expression of these molecules.
Keywords: Embryonic stem cells; Differentiation; Spinner culture; Gene expression; cDNA microarray;

Optimization of fibrin scaffolds for differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells into neural lineage cells by Stephanie M. Willerth; Kelly J. Arendas; David I. Gottlieb; Shelly Elese Sakiyama-Elbert (5990-6003).
The objective of this research was to determine the appropriate cell culture conditions for embryonic stem (ES) cell proliferation and differentiation in fibrin scaffolds by examining cell seeding density, location, and the optimal concentrations of fibrinogen, thrombin, and aprotinin (protease inhibitor). Mouse ES cells were induced to become neural progenitors by adding retinoic acid for 4 days to embryoid body (EB) cultures. For dissociated EBs, the optimal cell seeding density and location was determined to be 250,000 cells/cm2 seeded on top of fibrin scaffolds. For intact EBs, three-dimensional (3D) cultures with one EB per 400 μL fibrin scaffold resulted in greater cell proliferation and differentiation than two-dimensional (2D) cultures. Optimal concentrations for scaffold polymerization were 10 mg/mL of fibrinogen and 2 NIH units/mL of thrombin. The optimal aprotinin concentration was determined to be 50 μg/mL for dissociated EBs (2D) and 5 μg/mL for intact EBs in 3D fibrin scaffolds. Additionally, after 14 days in 3D culture EBs differentiated into neurons and astrocytes as indicated by immunohistochemisty. These conditions provide an optimal fibrin scaffold for evaluating ES cell differentiation and proliferation in culture, and for use as a platform for neural tissue engineering applications, such as the treatment for spinal cord injury.
Keywords: Nerve tissue engineering; Cell spreading; Cell culture; Progenitor cells;

Three-dimensional culture for expansion and differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by Hui Liu; Scott F. Collins; Laura J. Suggs (6004-6014).
Differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells typically requires cell–cell aggregation in the form of embryoid bodies (EBs). This process is not very well controlled and final cell numbers can be limited by EB agglomeration and the inability to drive differentiation towards a desired cell type. This study compares three-dimensional (3D) fibrin culture to conventional two-dimensional (2D) suspension culture and to culture in a semisolid methylcellulose medium solution. Two types of fibrin culture were evaluated, including a PEGylated fibrin gel. PEGylation with a difunctional PEG derivative retarded fibrinogen migration during through sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) as a result of crosslinking, similarly, degradation was slowed in the PEGylated gel. ES cell proliferation was higher in both the fibrin and PEGylated fibrin gels versus 2D and methylcellulose controls. FACS analysis and real-time-PCR revealed differences in patterns of differentiation for the various culture systems. Culture in PEGylated fibrin or methylcellulose culture demonstrated features characteristic of less extensive differentiation relative to fibrin and 2D culture as evidenced by the transcription factor Oct-4. Fibrin gels showed gene and protein expression similar to that in 2D culture. Both fibrin and 2D cultures demonstrated statistically greater cell numbers positive for the vascular mesoderm marker, VE-cadherin.
Keywords: Fibrin; Cell culture; Embryonic stem cell; Mesoderm; Vascular;

Enhanced chondrogenic differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells in hydrogels with glucosamine by Nathaniel S. Hwang; Shyni Varghese; Parnduangjai Theprungsirikul; Adam Canver; Jennifer Elisseeff (6015-6023).
Differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells generally occurs after formation of three-dimensional cell aggregates, known as embryoid bodies (EBs). We have previously reported that hydrogels provide EBs a supportive environment for in vitro chondrogenic differentiation and three dimensional tissue formation [Hwang NS, et al. The Effects of three dimensional culture and growth factors on the chondrogenic differentiation of murine ES cells. Stem Cells 2006;24:284–91]. In this study, we report chondrogenic differentiation of murine ES cells encapsulated in photopolymerizing poly(ethylene-glycol)-based (PEG) hydrogels in the presence of glucosamine (GlcN), an amino monosaccharide found in chitin, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and heparin sulfate. We examined the growth and differentiation of encapsulated EBs in standard chondrogenic differentiation medium containing 0-, 2-, and 10-mm GlcN. Morphometric analysis and examination of gene and protein expression indicated that treatment of hydrogel cultures with 2-mm GlcN for 21 days significantly increased EB size, levels of aggrecan mRNA, and tissue-specific extracellular matrix accumulation. GlcN can induce multiple aspects of cell behavior and optimal GlcN concentrations can be beneficial for directing the differentiation and tissue formation of ES cells.
Keywords: Embryonic stem cells; Hydrogels; Chondrogenesis; Glucosamine; Three-dimensional (3-D) culture;

Recent studies have suggested that three-dimensional (3D) biomaterial-based scaffolds and dynamic culture conditions could provide significant enhancement in the differentiation efficiency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Here we report that scaffold physical properties, like pore size, polymer concentration and compression modulus as well as specific culture conditions, e.g. cell seeding density and coculture with stromal cells can significantly influence hematopoietic differentiation of ESCs. PLLA scaffolds of various polymer concentrations (7.5%, 10% and 20% w/v) and pore size distributions (<150 μm, 150–425 μm, >425 μm) were fabricated using a standard solvent casting-salt leaching method. Mouse R1 ESCs were allowed to differentiate on these scaffolds either alone or in coculture with OP9 cells, a bone-marrow derived murine stromal cell line. Following one week of culture, cells were detached and analyzed using flow cytometry to evaluate the frequency of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). Our results indicate that decreasing scaffold pore size increases hematopoietic differentiation of ESCs. In addition, increasing polymer concentration which resulted in increased scaffold compression modulus also provided significantly enhanced hematopoiesis. Furthermore, higher cell seeding densities as well as coculture with marrow-derived stromal cells increased HPC generation. Collectively, these results indicate that physical and mechanical properties of the 3D microenvironment as well as cell–cell and cell–stromal interactions might play a significant role in ESC differentiation and therefore warrants further investigation to elucidate the molecular mechanisms.
Keywords: Embryonic stem cells; PLGA; Scaffold; Hematopoiesis;

3-D microwell culture of human embryonic stem cells by Jeffrey C. Mohr; Juan J. de Pablo; Sean P. Palecek (6032-6042).
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and differentiate into each of the embryonic cell lineages. Great care is required to maintain undifferentiated hESC cultures since spontaneous differentiation often occurs in culture, presumably resulting from soluble factors, cell–cell contact, and/or cell–matrix signaling. hESC differentiation is typically stimulated via generation of embryoid bodies (EBs) and lineage commitment of individual cells depends upon numerous cues throughout the EB environment, including EB shape and size. Common EB formation protocols, however, produce a very heterogeneous size distribution, perhaps reducing efficiency of directed differentiation. We have developed a 3-D microwell-based method to maintain undifferentiated hESC cultures for weeks without passaging using physical and extracellular matrix patterning constraints to limit colony growth. Over 90% of hESCs cultured in microwells for 2–3 weeks were viable and expressed the hESC transcription marker Oct-4. Upon passaging to Matrigel-coated tissue culture-treated polystyrene dishes (TCPS), microwell cultured hESCs maintained undifferentiated proliferation. Microwell culture also permits formation of hESC colonies with a defined size, which can then be used to form monodisperse EBs. When cultured in this system, hESCs retained pluripotency and self-renewal, and were able to be passaged to standard unconstrained culture conditions.
Keywords: Human embryonic stem cells; Microcontact printing; Microwells; Embryoid body; Self-assembled monolayer;

Surface-aminated electrospun nanofibers enhance adhesion and expansion of human umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells by Kian-Ngiap Chua; Chou Chai; Peng-Chou Lee; Yen-Ni Tang; Seeram Ramakrishna; Kam W. Leong; Hai-Quan Mao (6043-6051).
Interaction between hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and their extra cellular matrix components is an integral part of the signaling control for HSPC survival, proliferation and differentiation. We hypothesized that both substrate topographical cues and biochemical cues could act synergistically with cytokine supplementation to improve ex vivo expansion of HSPCs. In this study, we compared the ex vivo expansion of human umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells on unmodified, hydroxylated, carboxylated and aminated nanofibers and films. Results from 10-day expansion cultures showed that aminated nanofiber mesh and film were most efficient in supporting the expansion of the CD34+CD45+ cells (195-fold and 178-fold, respectively), as compared to tissue culture polystyrene (50-fold, p<0.05). In particular, aminated nanofiber meshes supported a higher degree of cell adhesion and percentage of HSPCs, as compared to aminated films. SEM imaging revealed the discrete colonies of cells proliferating and interacting with the aminated nanofibers. This study highlights the potential of a biomaterials approach to influence the proliferation and differentiation of HSPCs ex vivo.
Keywords: Hematopoietic stem cells; Expansion; Nanofiber; Electrospinning; Stem cell therapy;

Stem cells and adipose tissue engineering by Cheryl T. Gomillion; Karen J.L. Burg (6052-6063).
A large proportion of the plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures performed each year are to repair soft tissue defects that result from traumatic injury, tumor resection, and congenital defects. These defects typically result from the loss of a large volume of adipose tissue. To date, no ideal filler material which is successful in all cases has been developed. Additionally, the success of using autologous fat tissue grafts to repair soft tissue defects has been limited. Researchers are thus investigating strategies to engineer volumes of adipose tissue that may be used in these cases. A necessary component for engineering a viable tissue construct is an appropriate cell source. Attempts to engineer adipose tissue have involved the use of preadipocytes and adipocytes as the base cell source. Increased interest surrounding the research and development of stem cells as a source of cells for tissue engineering has, however, led to a new path of investigation for developing adipose tissue-engineering strategies. This manuscript serves as a review of the current state of adipose tissue-engineering methods and describes the shift toward tissue-engineering strategies using stem cells.
Keywords: Adipose tissue; Soft tissue reconstruction; Stem cells; Tissue engineering;

Stem cell-based tissue engineering with silk biomaterials by Yongzhong Wang; Hyeon-Joo Kim; Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic; David L. Kaplan (6064-6082).
Silks are naturally occurring polymers that have been used clinically as sutures for centuries. When naturally extruded from insects or worms, silk is composed of a filament core protein, termed fibroin, and a glue-like coating consisting of sericin proteins. In recent years, silk fibroin has been increasingly studied for new biomedical applications due to the biocompatibility, slow degradability and remarkable mechanical properties of the material. In addition, the ability to now control molecular structure and morphology through versatile processability and surface modification options have expanded the utility for this protein in a range of biomaterial and tissue-engineering applications. Silk fibroin in various formats (films, fibers, nets, meshes, membranes, yarns, and sponges) has been shown to support stem cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation in vitro and promote tissue repair in vivo. In particular, stem cell-based tissue engineering using 3D silk fibroin scaffolds has expanded the use of silk-based biomaterials as promising scaffolds for engineering a range of skeletal tissues like bone, ligament, and cartilage, as well as connective tissues like skin. To date fibroin from Bombyx mori silkworm has been the dominant source for silk-based biomaterials studied. However, silk fibroins from spiders and those formed via genetic engineering or the modification of native silk fibroin sequence chemistries are beginning to provide new options to further expand the utility of silk fibroin-based materials for medical applications.
Keywords: Silk; Stem cell; Scaffold; Tissue engineering; Mesenchymal stem cell;

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are relatively accessible and exhibit a pluripotency suitable for cardiovascular applications such as tissue-engineered heart valves (TEHVs). Recently, Sutherland et al. [From stem cells to viable autologous semilunar heart valve. Circulation 2005; 111(21): 2783–91] demonstrated that BMSC-seeded TEHV can successfully function as pulmonary valve substitutes in juvenile sheep for at least 8 months. Toward determining appropriate mechanical stimuli for use in BMSC-seeded TEHV cultivation, we investigated the independent and coupled effects of two mechanical stimuli physiologically relevant to heart valves—cyclic flexure and laminar flow (i.e. fluid shear stress)—on BMSC-mediated tissue formation. BMSC isolated from juvenile sheep were expanded and seeded onto rectangular strips of nonwoven 50:50 blend poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) and poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) scaffolds. Following 4 days static culture, BMSC-seeded scaffolds were loaded into a novel flex-stretch-flow (FSF) bioreactor and incubated under static ( n = 12 ), cyclic flexure ( n = 12 ), laminar flow (avg. wall shear stress=1.1505 dyne/cm2; n = 12 ) and combined flex-flow ( n = 12 ) conditions for 1 ( n = 6 ) and 3 ( n = 6 ) weeks. By 3 weeks, the flex-flow group exhibited dramatically accelerated tissue formation compared with all other groups, including a 75% higher collagen content of 844±278 μg/g wet weight ( p < 0.05 ), and an effective stiffness (E) value of 948±233 kPa. Importantly, collagen and E values were not significantly different from values measured for vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) -seeded scaffolds incubated under conditions of flexure alone [Engelmayr et al. The independent role of cyclic flexure in the early in vitro development of an engineered heart valve tissue. Biomaterials 2005; 26(2): 175–87], suggesting that BMSC-seeded TEHV can be optimized to yield results comparable to SMC-seeded TEHV. We thus demonstrated that cyclic flexure and laminar flow can synergistically accelerate BMSC-mediated tissue formation, providing a basis for the rational design of in vitro conditioning regimens for BMSC-seeded TEHV.
Keywords: Tissue engineering; Mesenchymal stem cell; Bioreactor; Flexure; Flow; Fluid shear stress;

Effects of orthopaedic wear particles on osteoprogenitor cells by Stuart B. Goodman; Ting Ma; Richard Chiu; Ravi Ramachandran; R. Lane Smith (6096-6101).
Wear particles from total joint arthroplasties are constantly being generated throughout the lifetime of an implant. Since mesenchymal stem cells and osteoprogenitors from the bone marrow are the precursors of osteoblasts, the reaction of these cells to orthopaedic wear particles is critical to both initial osseointegration of implants and ongoing regeneration of the periprosthetic bed. Particles less than 5 μm can undergo phagocytosis by mature osteoblasts, with potential adverse effects on cellular viability, proliferation and function. The specific effects are dependent on particle composition and dose. Metal and polymer particles in non-toxic doses stimulate pro-inflammatory factor release more than ceramic particles of a similar size. The released factors inhibit markers of bone formation and are capable of stimulating osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Mesenchymal stem cells and osteoprogenitors are also profoundly affected by wear particles. Titanium and polymethylmethacrylate particles inhibit bone cell viability and proliferation, and downregulate markers of bone formation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Future studies should delineate the molecular mechanisms by which particles adversely affect mesenchymal stems cells and the bone cell lineage and provide strategies to modulate these effects.
Keywords: Osteoblast; Mesenchymal stem cell; Osteoprogenitors; Wear particles; Total joint arthroplasty;

Increases in bone formation have been demonstrated in mice and rats treated with statins, a group of molecules that increase the production of bone morphogenetic proteins-2 (BMP2) by stimulating its promoter. However, clinical use of statins (e.g., fluvastatin) is limited by the lack of a suitable delivery system to localize and sustain release. To harness the therapeutic effect of statins in orthopedic applications, a fluvastatin-releasing macromer was synthesized. When copolymerized with a dimethacrylated poly(ethylene glycol) solution, this fluvastatin-containing molecule was covalently incorporated into hydrogel networks, and hydrolysis of lactic acid ester bonds resulted in the release of the pendantly tethered fluvastatin from the hydrogel into the surrounding solution. The rate of fluvastatin release was controlled by the length of lactic acid spacer (2–6 repeats), and the dose was controlled by the initial comonomer composition (5–500 μg fluvastatin/gel). Released fluvastatin increased human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) gene expression of CBFA1, ALP, and COL I by 34-fold, 2.6-fold, and 1.8-fold, respectively, after 14 days of in vitro culture. In addition, treating hMSCs with the released fluvastatin resulted in an average of 2.0- and 1.5-fold greater BMP2 production whereas mineralization increased an average of 3.0-fold and 2.5-fold for 0.01 and 0.1 μM fluvastatin, respectively, over the 2 week culture period. Therefore, fluvastatin-releasing hydrogels may be useful in bone tissue engineering applications, not only for triggering osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs, but also by modulating their function.
Keywords: Controlled drug release; Statin; Mesenchymal stem cells; Bone tissue engineering;

Proliferation and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cell encapsulated in polyelectrolyte complexation fibrous scaffold by Evelyn K.F. Yim; Andrew C.A. Wan; Catherine Le Visage; I-Chien Liao; Kam W. Leong (6111-6122).
A biofunctional scaffold was constructed with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in polyelectrolyte complexation (PEC) fibers. Human MSCs were either encapsulated in PEC fibers and constructed into a fibrous scaffold or seeded on PEC fibrous scaffolds. The proliferation, chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of the encapsulated and seeded hMSCs were compared for a culture period of 5.5 weeks. Gene expression and extracellular matrix production showed evidences of chondrogenesis and osteogenesis in the cell-encapsulated scaffolds and cell-seeded scaffolds when the samples were cultured in the chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation media, respectively. However, better cell proliferation and differentiation were observed on the hMSC-encapsulated scaffolds compared to the hMSC-seeded scaffolds. The study demonstrated that the cell-encapsulated PEC fibers could support proliferation and chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of the encapsulated-hMSCs. Together with our previous works, which demonstrated the feasibility of PEC fiber in controlled release of drug, protein and gene delivery, the reported PEC fibrous scaffold system will have the potential in composing a multi-component system for various tissue-engineering applications.
Keywords: Fibrous scaffold; Cell encapsulation; Cell therapy; Stem cell differentiation; Mesenchymal stem cells; 3D cell patterning;

Novel hydroxyapatite/chitosan bilayered scaffold for osteochondral tissue-engineering applications: Scaffold design and its performance when seeded with goat bone marrow stromal cells by Joaquim M. Oliveira; Márcia T. Rodrigues; Simone S. Silva; Patrícia B. Malafaya; Manuela E. Gomes; Carlos A. Viegas; Isabel R. Dias; Jorge T. Azevedo; João F. Mano; Rui L. Reis (6123-6137).
Recent studies suggest that bone marrow stromal cells are a potential source of osteoblasts and chondrocytes and can be used to regenerate damaged tissues using a tissue-engineering (TE) approach. However, these strategies require the use of an appropriate scaffold architecture that can support the formation de novo of either bone and cartilage tissue, or both, as in the case of osteochondral defects. The later has been attracting a great deal of attention since it is considered a difficult goal to achieve. This work consisted on developing novel hydroxyapatite/chitosan (HA/CS) bilayered scaffold by combining a sintering and a freeze-drying technique, and aims to show the potential of such type of scaffolds for being used in TE of osteochondral defects. The developed HA/CS bilayered scaffolds were characterized by Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, micro-computed tomography, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Additionally, the mechanical properties of HA/CS bilayered scaffolds were assessed under compression. In vitro tests were also carried out, in order to study the water-uptake and weight loss profile of the HA/CS bilayered scaffolds. This was done by means of soaking the scaffolds into a phosphate buffered saline for 1 up to 30 days. The intrinsic cytotoxicity of the HA scaffolds and HA/CS bilayered scaffolds extract fluids was investigated by carrying out a cellular viability assay (MTS test) using Mouse fibroblastic-like cells. Results have shown that materials do not exert any cytotoxic effect. Complementarily, in vitro (phase I) cell culture studies were carried out to evaluate the capacity of HA and CS layers to separately, support the growth and differentiation of goat marrow stromal cells (GBMCs) into osteoblasts and chondrocytes, respectively. Cell adhesion and morphology were analysed by SEM while the cell viability and proliferation were assessed by MTS test and DNA quantification. The chondrogenic differentiation of GBMCs was evaluated measuring the glucosaminoglycans synthesis. Data showed that GBMCs were able to adhere, proliferate and osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase activity and immunocytochemistry assays after 14 days in osteogenic medium and into chondrocytes after 21 days in culture with chondrogenic medium. The obtained results concerning the physicochemical and biological properties of the developed HA/CS bilayered scaffolds, show that these constructs exhibit great potential for their use in TE strategies leading to the formation of adequate tissue substitutes for the regeneration of osteochondral defects.
Keywords: Hydroxyapatite; Chitosan; Bilayered scaffold; Osteochondral tissue engineering; Stromal cells; Autologous model;

Bone and cartilage tissue constructs grown using human bone marrow stromal cells, silk scaffolds and rotating bioreactors by Darja Marolt; Alexander Augst; Lisa E. Freed; Charu Vepari; Robert Fajardo; Nipun Patel; Martha Gray; Michelle Farley; David Kaplan; Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic (6138-6149).
Human bone marrow contains a population of bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) capable of forming several types of mesenchymal tissues, including bone and cartilage. The present study was designed to test whether large cartilaginous and bone-like tissue constructs can be selectively engineered using the same cell population (hBMSCs), the same scaffold type (porous silk) and same hydrodynamic environment (construct settling in rotating bioreactors), by varying the medium composition (chondrogenic vs. osteogenic differentiation factors). The hBMSCs were harvested, expanded and characterized with respect to their differentiation potential and population distribution. Passage two cells were seeded on scaffolds and cultured for 5 weeks in bioreactors using osteogenic, chondrogenic or control medium. The three media yielded constructs with comparable wet weights and compressive moduli (∼25 kPa). Chondrogenic medium yielded constructs with higher amounts of DNA (1.5-fold) and glycosaminoglycans (GAG, 4-fold) per unit wet weight (ww) than control medium. In contrast, osteogenic medium yielded constructs with higher dry weight (1.6-fold), alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity (8-fold) and calcium content (100-fold) per unit ww than control medium. Chondrogenic medium yielded constructs that were weakly positive for GAG by contrast-enhanced MRI and alcian blue stain, whereas osteogenic medium yielded constructs that were highly mineralized by μCT and von Kossa stain. Engineered bone constructs were large (8 mm diameter × 2 mm thick disks) and resembled trabecular bone with respect to structure and mineralized tissue volume fraction (12%).
Keywords: Stem cells; Osteogenesis; Chondrogenesis; Silk scaffold; Rotating bioreactor;

Human bone marrow stromal cells: In vitro expansion and differentiation for bone engineering by G. Ciapetti; L. Ambrosio; G. Marletta; N. Baldini; A. Giunti (6150-6160).
Stromal cells from marrow hold a great promise for bone regeneration. Even if they are already being exploited in many clinical settings, the biological basis for the source and maintenance of their proliferation/differentiation potential after in vitro isolation and expansion needs further investigation.Most studies on osteogenic differentiation of marrow stromal cells (MSC) have been performed using bone marrow from the iliac crest. In this study, MSC were derived from spare femoral bone marrow obtained during hip replacement surgery from 20 adult donors. After in vitro isolation the cells were grown in osteogenic medium, and their proliferation and differentiation analysed during in vitro expansion. We found that MSC isolated from the femur of adult patients consistently maintain an osteogenic potential. Using biochemical signals, these cells turn to fully differentiated osteoblasts with a predictable set of molecular and phenotypic events of in vitro bone deposition. When seeded on polycaprolactone-based scaffold or surfaces, the proliferation and mineralization of femur-derived MSC were modulated by the surface chemistry/topography. Despite remarkable differences between individual colony-forming ability, alkaline phosphatase production, and mineralization ability, these cells are a potential source for bone engineering, either by direct autologous reimplantation or by ex vivo expansion and reimplantation combined to a proper scaffold.
Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells; Bone marrow; Bone tissue engineering; Bone regeneration; Osteoblast; In vitro test;