Direct deposited porous scaffolds of calcium phosphate cement with alginate for drug delivery and bone tissue engineering
This study reports the preparation of novel porous scaffolds of calcium phosphate cement (CPC) combined with alginate, and their potential usefulness as a three-dimensional (3-D) matrix for drug delivery and tissue engineering of bone. An α-tricalcium phosphate-based powder was mixed with sodium alginate solution and then directly injected into a fibrous structure in a Ca-containing bath. A rapid hardening reaction of the alginate with Ca2+ helps to shape the composite into a fibrous form with diameters of hundreds of micrometers, and subsequent pressing in a mold allows the formation of 3-D porous scaffolds with different porosity levels. After transformation of the CPC into a calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite phase in simulated biological fluid the scaffold was shown to retain its mechanical stability. During the process biological proteins, such as bovine serum albumin and lysozyme, used as model proteins, were observed to be effectively loaded onto and released from the scaffolds for up to more than a month, proving the efficacy of the scaffolds as a drug delivering matrix. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were isolated from rat bone marrow and then cultured on the CPC–alginate porous scaffolds to investigate the ability to support proliferation of cells and their subsequent differentiation along the osteogenic lineage. It was shown that MSCs increasingly actively populated and also permeated into the porous network with time of culture. In particular, cells cultured within a scaffold with a relatively high porosity level showed favorable proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. An in vivo pilot study of the CPC–alginate porous scaffolds after implantation into the rat calvarium for 6 weeks revealed the formation of new bone tissue within the scaffold, closing the defect almost completely. Based on these results, the newly developed CPC–alginate porous scaffolds could be potentially useful as a 3-D matrix for drug delivery and tissue engineering of bone.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 7, Issue 8, August 2011, Pages 3178–3186