In vitro electromagnetically stimulated SAOS-2 osteoblasts inside porous hydroxyapatite

Lorenzo Fassina, Enrica Saino, Maria Sonia Sbarra, Livia Visai, Maria Gabriella Cusella De Angelis, Giovanni Magenes, Francesco Benazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the key challenges in reconstructive bone surgery is to provide living constructs that possess the ability to integrate in the surrounding tissue. Bone graft substitutes, such as autografts, allografts, xenografts, and biomaterials have been widely used to heal critical-size long bone defects due to trauma, tumor resection, congenital deformity, and tissue degeneration. In particular, porous hydroxyapatite is widely used in reconstructive bone surgery owing to its biocompatibility. In addition, the in vitro modification of hydroxyapatite with osteogenic signals enhances the tissue regeneration in vivo, suggesting that the biomaterial modification could play an important role in tissue engineering. In this study we have followed a biomimetic strategy where electromagnetically stimulated SAOS-2 human osteoblasts proliferated and built their extracellular matrix inside a porous hydroxyapatite scaffold. The electromagnetic stimulus had the following parameters: intensity of the magnetic field equal to 2 mT, amplitude of the induced electric tension equal to 5 mV, frequency of 75 Hz, and pulse duration of 1.3 ms. In comparison with control conditions, the electromagnetic stimulus increased the cell proliferation and the surface coating with bone proteins (decorin, osteocalcin, osteopontin, type-I collagen, and type-III collagen). The physical stimulus aimed at obtaining a better modification of the biomaterial internal surface in terms of cell colonization and coating with bone matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1279
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2010


  • Biomimetics
  • Bone extracellular matrix
  • Cell proliferation
  • Decorin
  • Electromagnetic stimulation
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteocalcin
  • Osteopontin
  • Surface modification
  • Type-I collagen
  • Type-III collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys


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