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Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Jun;19(11-12):1416-23. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2012.0523. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

The effect of fibrinogen, collagen type I, and fibronectin on mesenchymal stem cell growth and differentiation into osteoblasts.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


We have shown that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have the potential to differentiate into bone when seeded within three-dimensional (3-D) fibrin constructs. Proteins endogenous to the fibrin construct and those secreted by cells in the 3-D constructs provide cues that can promote differentiation of hMSCs along with mechanical support for cell growth and migration. In this study, we decided to take a step back and examine the effect different extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins--fibrinogen, fibronectin, and collagen type I--had on hMSC osteogenic differentiation on two-dimensional (2-D) monolayer cultures. Briefly, 24-well tissue culture plates pre-coated with either fibrinogen (10 mg/mL), fibronectin (10 μg/mL), or collagen type I (1 mg/mL) were seeded with 25,000 cells/well and cultured in normal growth medium or in osteogenic induction medium. At days 1, 7, 14, 21, and 30, cultures were assessed for cell growth using alamarBlue(®) and osteogenic indicators using alkaline phosphatase and Von Kossa staining. The results show that collagen type I stained positive for calcium deposition the greatest by day 30 in both osteogenic medium and standard culture medium. However, fibrinogen had the greatest staining in osteogenic medium at day 21 and fibronectin was the only substrate to promote calcium deposition in standard culture medium at day 21. These results suggest that the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs is influenced by both culturing conditions and substrate and that together they have a synergistic effect. By knowing the effect ECM proteins in 3-D fibrin construct have on promoting osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs, the fabrication of complex, biomimetic models designed to manipulate hMSC differentiation toward an osteoblastic lineage will be improved.

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