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Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Jun;16(6):1971-81. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0691.

Effect of varied ionic calcium on human adipose-derived stem cell mineralization.

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Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7115, USA.


Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) are a relatively abundant and accessible stem cell source with multilineage differentiation capability and have great potential for bone tissue engineering applications. The success of bone tissue engineering is intimately linked with the production of a mineralized matrix that mimics the natural mineral present within native bone. In this study, we examined the effects of ionic calcium levels of 1.8 (normal concentration in cell culture medium), 8, and 16 mM on hASCs seeded in both two-dimensional monolayer and three-dimensional electrospun scaffolds and cultured in either complete growth medium (CGM) or osteogenic differentiation medium (ODM). The impact of calcium supplementation on hASC viability, proliferation, and mineral deposition was determined. hASCs remained viable for all experimental treatments. hASC proliferation increased with the addition of 8 mM Ca(2+) CGM, but decreased for the 16 mM Ca(2+) CGM treatment. Materials deposited by hASCs were analyzed using four techniques: (1) histological staining with Alizarin Red S, (2) calcium quantification, (3) Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and (4) wide-angle X-ray diffraction. Mineral deposition was significantly enhanced under both growth and osteogenic medium conditions by increasing extracellular Ca(2+). The greatest mineral deposition occurred in the ODM 8 mM Ca(2+) treatment group. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis indicated that elevated calcium concentrations of 8 mM Ca(2+) significantly increased both PO(4) amount and PO(4) to protein ratio for ODM. X-ray diffraction indicated that mineral produced with elevated Ca(2+) in both CGM and ODM had a crystalline structure characteristic of hydroxyapatite. Ionic calcium should be considered a potent regulator in hASC mineralization and could serve as a potential treatment for inducing prompt ossification of hASC-seeded scaffolds for bone tissue engineering prior to implantation.

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