In vitro colonization of stratified bioactive scaffolds by pre-osteoblast cells

Mesoporous bioactive glass-polycaprolactone (MBG-PCL) scaffolds have been prepared by robocasting, a layer by layer rapid prototyping method, by stacking of individual strati. Each stratus was independently analyzed during the cell culture tests with MC3T3-E1 preosteblast-like cells. The presence of MBG stimulates the colonization of the scaffolds by increasing the cell proliferation and differentiation. MBG-PCL composites not only enhanced pre-osteoblast functions but also allowed cell movement along its surface, reaching the upper stratus faster than in pure PCL scaffolds. The cells behavior on each individual stratus revealed that the scaffolds colonization depends on the chemical stimuli supplied by the MBG dissolution and surface changes associated to the apatite-like formation during the bioactive process. Finally, scanning electron and fluorescence microscopy revealed that the kinetic of cell migration strongly depends on the architectural features of the scaffolds, in such a way that layers interconnections are used as migration routes to reach the farther scaffolds locations from the initial cells source.