Polymer-mineral scaffold augments in vivo equine multipotent stromal cell osteogenesis

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BACKGROUND: Use of bioscaffolds to direct osteogenic differentiation of adult multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) without exogenous proteins is a contemporary approach to bone regeneration. Identification of in vivo osteogenic contributions of exogenous MSCs on bioscaffolds after long-term implantation is vital to understanding cell persistence and effect duration. METHODS: This study was designed to quantify in vivo equine MSC osteogenesis on synthetic polymer scaffolds with distinct mineral combinations 9 weeks after implantation in a murine model. Cryopreserved, passage (P)1, equine bone marrow-derived MSCs (BMSC) and adipose tissue-derived MSCs (ASC) were culture expanded to P3 and immunophenotyped with flow cytometry. They were then loaded by spinner flask on to scaffolds composed of tricalcium phosphate (TCP)/hydroxyapatite (HA) (40:60; HT), polyethylene glycol (PEG)/poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) (60:40; GA), or PEG/PLLA/TCP/HA (36:24:24:16; GT). Scaffolds with and without cells were maintained in static culture for up to 21 days or implanted subcutaneously in athymic mice that were radiographed every 3 weeks up to 9 weeks. In vitro cell viability and proliferation were determined. Explant composition (double-stranded (ds)DNA, collagen, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG), protein), equine and murine osteogenic target gene expression, microcomputed tomography (μCT) mineralization, and light microscopic structure were assessed. RESULTS: The ASC and BMSC number increased significantly in HT constructs between 7 and 21 days of culture, and BMSCs increased similarly in GT constructs. Radiographic opacity increased with time in GT-BMSC constructs. Extracellular matrix (ECM) components and dsDNA increased significantly in GT compared to HT constructs. Equine and murine osteogenic gene expression was highest in BMSC constructs with mineral-containing scaffolds. The HT constructs with either cell type had the highest mineral deposition based on μCT. Regardless of composition, scaffolds with cells had more ECM than those without, and osteoid was apparent in all BMSC constructs. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, both exogenous and host MSCs appear to contribute to in vivo osteogenesis. Addition of mineral to polymer scaffolds enhances equine MSC osteogenesis over polymer alone, but pure mineral scaffold provides superior osteogenic support. These results emphasize the need for bioscaffolds that provide customized osteogenic direction of both exo- and endogenous MSCs for the best regenerative potential.

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Stem cell research & therapy

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