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Biomaterials. 2009 Oct;30(28):5019-30. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.05.064. Epub 2009 Jul 3.

Osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow cells on non-mulberry and mulberry silk gland fibroin 3D scaffolds.

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  • 1Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721 302, West Bengal, India.


This study investigates the potential of 3D silk scaffolds fabricated using tropical tasar non-mulberry, Antheraea mylitta and mulberry, Bombyx mori silk gland fibroin proteins as substrate for osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow cells (BMCs). The scaffolds are mechanically robust and show homogenous pore distribution with high porosity and interconnected pore walls. Low immunogenicity of fabricated silk scaffolds as estimated through TNF alpha release indicates its potential as future biopolymeric graft material. Rat bone marrow cells cultured on scaffolds for 28 days under static conditions in osteogenic and adipogenic media respectively led to induction of differentiation. Proliferation and spreading of fibroblasts and bone marrow cells on silk scaffolds were observed to be dependent on scaffold porosity as revealed through confocal microscopic observations. Histological analysis shows osteogenic differentiation within silk scaffolds resulting in extensive mineralization in the form of deposited nodules as observed through intense Alizarin Red S staining. Similarly, adipogenesis was marked by the presence of lipid droplets within scaffolds on staining with Oil Red O. Real-time PCR studies reveal higher transcript levels for osteopontin (Spp1), osteocalcin (Bglap2) and osteonectin (Sparc) genes under osteogenic conditions. Similarly, upregulated adipogenic gene expression was observed within A. mylitta and B. mori scaffolds under adipogenic conditions for Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma2), lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and adipocyte binding protein (aP2) genes. The results suggest suitability of silk fibroin protein 3D scaffolds as natural biopolymer for potential bone and adipose tissue engineering applications.

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