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Villa M.M.,Institute of Materials ScienceUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs 06269Connecticut | Wei M.,Institute of Materials ScienceUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs 06269Connecticut
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials | Year: 2015

Bone tissue engineering using biomaterial scaffolds and culture-expanded osteoprogenitor cells has been demonstrated in several studies; however, it is not yet a clinical reality. One challenge is the optimal design of scaffolds for cell delivery and the identification of scaffold parameters that can delineate success and failure in vivo. Motivated by a previous experiment in which a batch of lyophilized collagen-hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds displayed modest bone formation in vivo, despite having large pores and high porosity, we began to investigate the effect of scaffold permeability on bone formation. Herein, we fabricated scaffolds with a permeability of 2.17±1.63 × 10-9 m4/(N s) and fourfold higher using a sacrificial gelatin porogen. Scaffolds were seeded with mouse bone marrow stromal cells carrying a fluorescent reporter for osteoblast differentiation and implanted into critical-size calvarial defects in immunodeficient mice. The porogen scaffold group containing a 1:1 ratio of solids to beads was significantly more radiopaque than the scaffold group without the bead porogen 3 weeks after implantation. Quantitative histomorphometry uncovered the same trend between the 1:1 group and scaffolds without porogen found in the radiographic data; however, this was not statistically significant here. Taken together, the X-ray and histology suggest that the 1:1 ratio of porogen to scaffold solids, resulting in a fourfold increase in permeability, may enhance bone formation when compared to scaffolds without porogen. Scaffold permeability can be a useful quality control measure before implantation and this practice should improve the consistency and efficacy of cell-based bone tissue engineering. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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