Advanced Biomaterials and Devices in Medicine
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Advanced Biomaterials and Devices in Medicine
December 2015, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 95109

Enhanced mesenchymal stem cell differentiation on load-bearing trabecular nitinol scaffolds by medium perfusion

Th. Boese1*, R.E. Unger1, H. Goetz2, I. Gotman3, E.Y. Gutmanas3, R. Tsaryk4, C.J. Kirkpatrick1

1 REPAIRLab, Institute of Pathology, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, 55131 Germany
2 ASMA Institute of Applied Structure- and Microsanalysis, Mainz, 55101 Germany
3 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa, 3200003 Israel
4 Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Muenster, 48149 Germany

* Corresponding author: Thomas Boese, e-mail:

Trabecular nitinol (tNiTi) is a promising candidate material for bone tissue engineering applications mostly on account of its open-cell porous structure and elasticity, resembling natural bone. Generally, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) can be seeded, cultivated and differentiated into cells of the osteogenic lineage on these scaffolds under static conditions. To determine if more biologically relevant scenarios influence hMSC we investigated the effect of medium perfusion on the osteogenic differentiation of hMSC grown on the tNiTi scaffolds. The scaffolds were seeded and cultivated in a commercial perfusion bioreactor system for four weeks. Following the cultivation and differentiation phase the cells were analyzed for the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and matrix mineralization. Medium perfusion enhanced osteogenesis in hMSC as well as the distribution of cells and extracellular matrix throughout the entire scaffold. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed a co-localization of calcium and phosphate in the mineralized matrix. Furthermore, hMSC on perfused tNiTi scaffolds did not differentiate in the absence of dexamethasone (Dex), and osteogenesis in differentiating cells was not influenced by nickel ions released from the tNiTi scaffolds. Our data indicate that medium perfusion successfully supports the osteogenic differentiation of hMSC on porous tNiTi scaffolds.

Keywords: nitinol scaffolds, perfusion bioreactor, mesenchymal stem cells, osteogenic differentiation

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