The use of composite biomaterials for bone repair capitalizes on the beneficial aspects of individual materials while tailoring the mechanical properties of the composite. We hypothesized that substrate composition would modulate the osteogenic response and secretion of potent trophic factors by human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Composite scaffolds were prepared by combining nanosized hydroxyapatite (HA) and microspheres formed of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLG) at varying ratios between 0:1 and 5:1. Scaffolds were seeded with hMSCs for culture in osteogenic conditions or subcutaneous implantation into nude rats. Compressive moduli increased with HA content in a near-linear fashion. The osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs increased in a dose-dependent manner as determined by alkaline phosphatase activity and osteopontin secretion after 4 weeks of culture. Further, endogenous secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor was sustained at significantly higher levels over 28 days for hMSCs seeded in 2.5:1 and 5:1 HA:PLG scaffolds. Eight weeks after implantation, scaffolds with higher HA:PLG ratios exhibited greater vascularization and more mineralized tissue. These data demonstrate that the mechanical properties, osteogenic differentiation, as well as the timing and duration of trophic factor secretion by hMSCs can be tailored through controlling the composition of the polymer-bioceramic composite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering