Biomimetic scaffolds fabricated from apatite-coated polymer microspheres

Hillary Davis, Rameshwar R. Rao, Jiawei He, J. Kent Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The deposition of a bonelike mineral on the surface of polymer scaffolds results in the formation of hybrid biomaterials, possessing enhanced osteoconductivity while retaining appropriate biodegradability. However, current methods of fabricating such composite scaffolds use a prolonged incubation process, which permits scaffold deformation and premature loss of incorporated macromolecules. We hypothesized that the fabrication of biomineralized polymer scaffolds could be achieved using premineralized polymer microspheres generated through incubation in a modified simulated body fluid (mSBF). We explored the material characteristics of these substrates and characterized the in vitro osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) when cultured on these novel scaffolds. Unlike scaffolds prepared using the conventional approach, premineralized scaffolds maintained their initial conformation after fabrication, achieved improved mineral distribution throughout the substrate, and enabled significantly greater incorporation efficiency of a model protein. We did not detect differences in osteogenic differentiation as determined by alkaline phosphatase activity and osteopontin secretion. However, we did observe a significant increase in cell-secreted calcium by hMSCs seeded on scaffolds prepared from premineralized polymer. These results demonstrate that the use of premineralized polymeric materials to fabricate biodegradable polymer scaffolds is an improved method for composite scaffold formation and may have numerous advantages for use in bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1031
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 15 2009


  • Biomineralization
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Osteoconduction
  • Scaffold
  • Simulated body fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys


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