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Materials (Basel). 2016 Jun 15;9(6). pii: E477. doi: 10.3390/ma9060477.

Magnesium Modifies the Structural Features of Enzymatically Mineralized Collagen Gels Affecting the Retraction Capabilities of Human Dermal Fibroblasts Embedded within This 3D System.

Author information

1
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, Modena 41125, Italy. federica.boraldi@unimore.it.
2
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, Modena 41125, Italy. angelica.bartolomeo@unimore.it.
3
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, Modena 41125, Italy. annovigiulia@gmail.com.
4
Laboratory of Tissue Biology and Therapeutic Engineering (LBTI), UMR5305 CNRS/UCBL, Lyon 69366, France. romain.debret@ibcp.fr.
5
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, Modena 41125, Italy. daniela.quaglino@unimore.it.

Abstract

Mineralized collagen gels have been developed as in vitro models to better understand the mechanisms regulating the calcification process and the behavior of a variety of cell types. The vast majority of data are related to stem cells and to osteoblast-like cells, whereas little information is available for dermal fibroblasts, although these cells have been associated with ectopic calcification and consequently to a number of pathological conditions. Therefore, we developed and characterized an enzymatically mineralized collagen gel in which fibroblasts were encapsulated within the 3D structure. MgCl₂ was also added during gel polymerization, given its role as (i) modulator of ectopic calcification; (ii) component of biomaterials used for bone replacement; and (iii) constituent of pathological mineral deposits. Results demonstrate that, in a short time, an enzymatically mineralized collagen gel can be prepared in which mineral deposits and viable cells are homogeneously distributed. MgCl₂ is present in mineral deposits and significantly affects collagen fibril assembly and organization. Consequently, cell shape and the ability of fibroblasts to retract collagen gels were modified. The development of three-dimensional (3D) mineralized collagen matrices with both different structural features and mineral composition together with the use of fibroblasts, as a prototype of soft connective tissue mesenchymal cells, may pave new ways for the study of ectopic calcification.

KEYWORDS:

alkaline phosphatase; collagen type I; fibroblast; mineralization; morphology; three dimensional gel

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