Freeform fabricated scaffolds with roughened struts that enhance both stem cell proliferation and differentiation by controlling cell shape
We demonstrate that freeform fabricated (FFF) scaffolds with a roughened surface topography can support hBMSC proliferation, while also inducing osteogenic differentiation, for maximized generation of calcified, bone-like tissue. Previously, hBMSCs rapidly proliferated, without osteogenic differentiation, during culture in FFF scaffolds. In contrast, hBMSCs underwent osteogenic differentiation, with slow proliferation, during culture in nanofiber scaffolds. Analysis of cell morphology showed that the topography presented by the nanofiber scaffolds drove hBMSC differentiation by guiding them into a morphology that induced osteogenic differentiation. Herein, we hypothesized that using the high-surface area architecture of FFF scaffolds to present a surface roughness that drives hBMSCs into a morphology that induces osteogenic differentiation would yield a maximum amount differentiated hBMSCs and bone-like tissue. Thus, a solvent etching method was developed that imparted a 5-fold increase in roughness to the surface of the struts of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) FFF scaffolds. The etched scaffolds induced osteogenic differentiation of the hBMSCs while un-etched scaffolds did not. The etched scaffolds also supported the same high levels of hBMSC proliferation that un-etched scaffolds supported. Finally, hBMSCs on un-etched scaffolds had a large spread area, while hBMSCs on etched scaffolds has a smaller area and were more rounded, indicating that the surface roughness from the etched scaffolds dictated the morphology of the hBMSCs. The results demonstrate that FFF scaffolds with surface roughness can support hBMSC proliferation, while also inducing osteogenic differentiation, to maximize generation of calcified tissue. This work validates a rational approach to scaffold fabrication where the structure of the scaffold was designed to optimize stem cell function by controlling cell morphology.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 16, June 2012, Pages 4022–4030