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A tissue-like construct of human bone marrow MSCs composite scaffold support in vivo ectopic bone formation




Biocompatible and osteoconductive cell–scaffold constructs comprise the first and most important step towards successful in vivo bone repair. This study reports on a new cell–scaffold construct composed of gelatin-based hydrogel and ceramic (CaCO3/β-TCP) particles loaded with human MSCs producing a tissue-like construct applied as a transplant for in vivo bone formation. Bone marrow-derived human MSCs were cultured in osteogenic induction medium. 5 × 105 (P2) cells were loaded on a mixture of hydrogel microspheres and ceramic particles, cultured in a rotating dynamic culture for up to 3 weeks. Both hydrogel microspheres and ceramic particles coalesced together to form a tissue-like construct, shown by histology to contain elongated spindle-like cells forming the new tissue between the individual particles. Cell proliferation and cell viability were confirmed by Alamar blue assay and by staining with CFDA, respectively. FACS analysis conducted before loading the cells, and after formation of the construct, revealed that the profile of cell surface markers remained unchanged throughout the dynamic culture. The osteogenic potential of the cells composing the tissue-like construct was further validated by subcutaneous transplants in athymic nude mice. After 8 weeks a substantial amount of new bone formation was observed in the cell-construct transplants, whereas no bone formation was observed in transplants containing no cells. This new cell construct provides a system for in vivo bone transplants. It can be tailored for a specific size and shape as needed for various transplant sites and for all aspects of regenerative medicine and biomaterial science.


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