Electrospun composite poly(L-lactic acid)/tricalcium phosphate scaffolds induce proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells

  • McCullen S
  • Zhu Y
  • Bernacki S
 et al. 
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Development of tissue-engineered bone constructs has recently focused on the use of electrospun composite scaffolds seeded with stem cells from various source tissues. In this study, we fabricated electrospun composite scaffolds consisting of beta-tricalcium phosphate (TCP) crystals and poly(L-lactic acid) (PLA) at varying loading levels of TCP (0, 5, 10, 20 wt%) and assessed the composite scaffolds' material properties and ability to induce proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in the presence of osteogenic differentiating medium. The electrospun scaffolds all exhibited a nonwoven structure with an interconnected porous network. With the addition of TCP, the fiber diameter increased with each treatment ranging from 503.39 +/- 20.31 nm for 0 wt% TCP to 1267.36 +/- 59.03 nm for 20 wt% TCP. Tensile properties of the composite scaffolds were assessed and the overall tensile strength of the neat scaffold (0 wt% TCP) was 847 +/- 89.43 kPA; the addition of TCP significantly decreased this value to an average of 350.83 +/- 38.57 kPa. As the electrospun composite scaffolds degraded in vitro, TCP was released into the medium with the largest release occurring within the first 6 days. Human ASCs were able to adhere, proliferate and osteogenically differentiate on all scaffold combinations. DNA content increased in a temporal manner for each scaffold over 18 days in culture although for the day 12 timepoint, the 10 wt% TCP scaffold induced the greatest hASC proliferation. Endogenous alkaline phosphatase activity was enhanced on the composite PLA/TCP scaffolds compared to the PLA control particularly by day 18. It was noted that at the highest TCP loading levels of 10 and 20 wt%, there was a dramatic increase in the amount of cell-mediated mineralization compared to the 5 wt% TCP and the neat PLA scaffold. This work suggests that local environment cues provided by the biochemical nature of the scaffold can accelerate the overall osteogenic differentiation of hASCs and encourage rapid ossification.

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  • S. D. McCullen

  • Y. Zhu

  • S. H. Bernacki

  • R. J. Narayan

  • B. Pourdeyhimi

  • R. E. Gorga

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