Osteogenic differentiation of dura mater stem cells cultured in vitro on three-dimensional porous scaffolds of poly(ε-caprolactone) fabricated via co-extrusion and gas foaming
A novel scaffold fabrication method utilizing both polymer blend extrusion and gas foaming techniques to control pore size distribution is presented. Seventy-five per cent of all pores produced using polymer blend extrusion alone were less than 50 μm. Introducing a gas technique provided better control of pore size distribution, expanding the range from 0–50 to 0–350 μm. Varying sintering time, annealing temperature and foaming pressure also helped to reduce the percentage of pore sizes below 50 μm. Scaffolds chosen for in vitro cellular studies had a pore size distribution of 0–300 μm, average pore size 66 ± 17 μm, 0.54 ± 0.02% porosity and 98% interconnectivity, measured by micro-computed tomography (microCT) analysis. The ability of the scaffolds to support osteogenic differentiation for subsequent cranial defect repair was evaluated by static and dynamic (0.035 ± 0.006 m s−1 terminal velocity) cultivation with dura mater stem cells (DSCs). In vitro studies showed minimal increases in proliferation over 28 days in culture in osteogenic media. Alkaline phosphatase expression remained constant throughout the study. Moderate increases in matrix deposition, as assessed by histochemical staining and microCT analysis, occurred at later time points, days 21 and 28. Although constructs cultured dynamically showed greater mineralization than static conditions, these trends were not significant. It remains unclear whether bioreactor culture of DSCs is advantageous for bone tissue engineering applications. However, these studies show that polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds alone, without the addition of other co-polymers or ceramics, support long-term attachment and mineralization of DSCs throughout the entire porous scaffold.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 4, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 1187–1197