Human umbilical cord stem cell encapsulation in calcium phosphate scaffolds for bone engineering
Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) require an invasive procedure to harvest, and have lower self-renewal potential with aging. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) are a relatively new stem cell source; this study reveals a self-setting and load-bearing calcium phosphate construct that encapsulates these stem cells. The flexural strength (mean ± sd; n = 5) of the hUCMSC-encapsulating calcium phosphate cement (CPC) increased from (3.5 ± 1.1) MPa without polyglactin fibers, to (11.7 ± 2.1) MPa with 20% of polyglactin fibers (p < 0.05). hUCMSCs attached to the bone mineral-mimicking scaffold in the osteogenic media and differentiated down the osteogenic lineage, yielding elevated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC) gene expressions. ALP and OC on the CPC-fiber scaffold was 2-fold those on CPC control without fibers. hUCMSCs encapsulated inside the scaffolds retained excellent viability and cell density. The encapsulated hUCMSCs inside four different constructs successfully differentiated down the osteogenic lineage and synthesized bone minerals, as confirmed by mineral staining, SEM, and XRD. The percentage of mineral area synthesized by the encapsulated hUCMSCs increased from about 3% at day-7, to 12% at day-21 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that hUCMSCs encapsulated in the bioengineered scaffolds osteo-differentiated and synthesized bone minerals. The self-setting CPC–chitosan–fiber scaffold supported the viability and osteogenic differentiation of the encapsulated hUCMSCs, and had mechanical strength matching that of cancellous bone.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 31, Issue 14, May 2010, Pages 3848–3857