Author(s): Goldstein AS, Juarez TM, Helmke CD, Gustin MC, Mikos AG
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Culture of seeded osteoblastic cells in three-dimensional osteoconductive scaffolds in vitro is a promising approach to produce an osteoinductive material for repair of bone defects. However, culture of cells in scaffolds sufficiently large to bridge critical-sized defects is a challenge for tissue engineers. Diffusion may not be sufficient to supply nutrients into large scaffolds and consequently cells may grow preferentially at the periphery under static culture conditions. Three alternative culturing schemes that convect media were considered: a spinner flask, a rotary vessel, and a perfusion flow system. Poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) foam discs (12.7 mm diameter, 6.0 mm thick, 78.8\% porous) were seeded with osteoblastic marrow stromal cells and cultured in the presence of dexamethasone and L-ascorbic acid for 7 and 14 days. Cell numbers per foam were found to be similar with all culturing schemes indicating that cell growth could not be enhanced by convection, but histological analysis indicated that the rotary vessel and flow system produced a more uniform distribution of cells throughout the foams. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity per cell was higher with culture in the flow system and spinner flask after 7 days, while no differences in osteocalcin (OC) activity per cell were observed among culturing methods after 14 days in culture. Based on the higher ALP activity and better cell uniformity throughout the cultured foams, the flow system appears to be the superior culturing method, although equally important is the fact that in none of the tests did any of the alternative culturing techniques underperform the static controls. Thus, this study demonstrates that culturing techniques that utilize fluid flow, and in particular the flow perfusion system, improve the properties of the seeded cells over those maintained in static culture.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering