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Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Dec;19(23-24):2565-76. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0256. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Enhanced osteogenesis in cocultures with human mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells on polymeric microfiber scaffolds.

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Department of Bioengineering, Rice University , Houston, Texas.


In this work, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and their osteogenically precultured derivatives were directly cocultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on electrospun three-dimensional poly(ɛ-caprolactone) microfiber scaffolds to evaluate the coculture's effect on the generation of osteogenic constructs. Specifically, cells were cultured on scaffolds for up to 3 weeks, and the cellularity, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and bone-like matrix formation were assessed. Constructs with cocultures and monocultures had almost identical cellularity after the first week, however, lower cellularity was observed in cocultures compared to monocultures during the subsequent 2 weeks of culture. Scaffolds with cocultures showed a significantly higher ALP activity, glycosaminoglycan and collagen production, as well as greater calcium deposition over the course of study compared to monocultures of hMSCs. Furthermore, the osteogenic outcome was equally robust in cocultures containing osteogenically precultured and non-precultured hMSCs. The results demonstrate that the combination of MSC and HUVEC populations within a porous scaffold material under osteogenic culture conditions is an effective strategy to promote osteogenesis.

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