Combining technologies to create bioactive hybrid scaffolds for bone tissue engineering
Combining technologies to engineer scaffolds that can offer physical and chemical cues to cells is an attractive approach in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In this study, we have fabricated polymer-ceramic hybrid scaffolds for bone regeneration by combining rapid prototyping (RP), electrospinning (ESP) and a biomimetic coating method in order to provide mechanical support and a physico-chemical environment mimicking both the organic and inorganic phases of bone extracellular matrix (ECM). Poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)-poly(buthylene terephthalate) (PEOT/PBT) block copolymer was used to produce three dimensional scaffolds by combining 3D fiber (3DF) deposition, and ESP, and these constructs were then coated with a Ca-P layer in a simulated physiological solution. Scaffold morphology and composition were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled to energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDX) and Fourier Tranform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) were cultured on coated and uncoated 3DF and 3DF + ESP scaffolds for up to 21 d in basic and mineralization medium and cell attachment, proliferation, and expression of genes related to osteogenesis were assessed. Cells attached, proliferated and secreted ECM on all the scaffolds. There were no significant differences in metabolic activity among the different groups on days 7 and 21. Coated 3DF scaffolds showed a significantly higher DNA amount in basic medium at 21 d compared with the coated 3DF + ESP scaffolds, whereas in mineralization medium, the presence of coating in 3DF+ESP scaffolds led to a significant decrease in the amount of DNA. An effect of combining different scaffolding technologies and material types on expression of a number of osteogenic markers (cbfa1, BMP-2, OP, OC and ON) was observed, suggesting the potential use of this approach in bone tissue engineering.