Growing bone tissue-engineered niches with graded osteogenicity: An in vitro method for biomimetic construct assembly

Serena Danti, Lorenzo Pio Serino, Delfo D'Alessandro, Stefania Moscato, Sabrina Danti, Luisa Trombi, Dinuccio Dinucci, Federica Chiellini, Andrea Pietrabissa, Michele Lisanti, Stefano Berrettini, Mario Petrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The traditional bone tissue-engineering approach exploits mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to be seeded once only on three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds, hence, differentiated for a certain period of time and resulting in a homogeneous osteoblast population at the endpoint. However, after achieving terminal osteodifferentiation, cell viability is usually markedly compromised. On the other hand, naturally occurring osteogenesis results from the coexistence of MSC progenies at distinct differentiative stages in the same microenvironment. This diversification also enables long-term viability of the mature tissue. We report an easy and tunable in vitro method to engineer simple osteogenic cell niches in a biomimetic fashion. The niches were grown via periodic reseeding of undifferentiated MSCs on MSC/scaffold constructs, the latter undergoing osteogenic commitment. Time-fractioning of the seeded cell number during differentiation time of the constructs allowed graded osteogenic cell populations to be grown together on the same scaffolds (i.e., not only terminally differentiated osteoblasts). In such cell-dynamic systems, the overall differentiative stage of the constructs could also be tuned by varying the cell density seeded at each inoculation. In this way, we generated two different biomimetic niche models able to host good reservoirs of preosteoblasts and other osteoprogenitors after 21 culture days. At that time, the niche type resulting in 40.8% of immature osteogenic progenies and only 59.2% of mature osteoblasts showed a calcium content comparable to the constructs obtained with the traditional culture method (i.e., 100.03±29.30 vs. 78.51±28.50 pg/cell, respectively; p=not significant), the latter colonized only by fully differentiated osteoblasts showing exhausted viability. This assembly method for tissue-engineered constructs enabled a set of important parameters, such as viability, colonization, and osteogenic yield of the MSCs to be balanced on 3D scaffolds, thus achieving biomimetic in vitro models with graded osteogenicity, which are more complex and reliable than those currently used by tissue engineers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-924
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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