The collagen component of biological bone graft substitutes promotes ectopic bone formation by human mesenchymal stem cells
Synthetic bone substitutes are attractive materials for repairing a variety of bone defects. They are readily available in unlimited quantities, have a defined composition without batch variability and bear no risk of disease transmission. When combined with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), bone healing can be further enhanced due to the osteogenic potential of these cells. However, human MSCs showed considerable donor variability in ectopic bone formation assays on synthetic bone substitutes, which may limit clinical success. This study addresses whether bone formation variability of MSCs is cell-intrinsic or biomaterial-dependent and may be improved using biological bone substitutes with and without collagen. Ectopic bone formation of MSCs from nine donors was tested in immune-deficient mice on biological bone substitutes of bovine and equine origin, containing collagen (bHA-C; eHA-C) or not (bHA; eHA). Synthetic β-TCP was used for comparison. Histology of 8-week explants demonstrated a significant influence of the bone graft substitute (BGS) on donor variability of ectopic bone formation with best results seen for eHA-C (15/17) and β-TCP (16/18). Bone was of human origin in all groups according to species-specific in situ hybridization, but MSCs from one donor formed no bone with any bone substitute. According to histomorphometry, most neo-bone was formed on eHA-C with significant differences to bHA, eHA and β-TCP (p < 0.001). Collagen-free biological BGSs were inferior to biological BGSs with collagen (p < 0.001), while species-origin was of little influence. In conclusion, BGS composition had a strong influence on ectopic bone formation ability of MSCs, and biological BGSs with a collagen component seem most promising to display the strong osteogenic potential of MSCs.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 9, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 7298–7307