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J Biomech Eng. 2013 Jul 1. doi: 10.1115/1.4025103. [Epub ahead of print]

In Vivo Biophysical-stimulation Platform Applied to Rodent Calvarial Bone-defect Models.


Biophysical strain has been applied widely for bone regeneration. However, application of low-magnitude strains to cells on small-thickness scaffolds is problematic, especially in rodent calvarial defect models, because general translation systems have limitations in terms of generating low-magnitude smooth signals. To overcome these limitations, we developed an in vitro biophysical-stimulation platform for stimulation of cells on small-thickness scaffolds for rodent calvarial bone defects. The customized flexure-based translational nanoactuator enables generation of low-magnitude smooth signals at the subnano- to micrometer-scale. This nanoactuator, which is equipped with a piezoelectric actuator, is suitable for biological applications because it can generate friction-free motion with a high resolution. Moreover, its operation without wear or deterioration eliminates contamination factors in cell culture environments. The developed in vitro biophysical-stimulation platform using these nanoactuators showed predictable operational characteristics. Also, a few-micrometer sinusoidal signal was generated successfully without any distortion. Three-dimensional scaffolds fitting the critical-size rat calvarial defect model were fabricated using poly(caprolactone), poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), and tricalcium phosphate. Runt-related transcription factor 2 expression was increased upon stimulation of human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) on these scaffolds were stimulated in the in vitro biophysical-stimulation platform. Additionally, the use of this platform resulted in up-regulation of alkaline phosphate, osteopontin, and osterix expression compared to the non-stimulated group. These preliminary in vitro results suggest that the biophysical environment provided by the in vitro biophysical-stimulation platform influences the osteogenic differentiation of ASCs.

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