In Vitro and In Vivo Osteoinductive and Osteoconductive Properties of a Synthetic Bone Substitute
Enrico Conserva, DDS/Federico Foschi, BDS, MSc, PhD/Ranieri Cancedda, MD, PhD/Maddalena Mastrogiacomo, BD, PhD
Purpose: The present study tested a recently introduced bone substitute material (BSM) with a novel structure to determine its osteoinductive and osteoconductive properties in vitro and in vivo. The specific aims were to determine the microstructure of the as-manufactured BSM, as analyzed with scanning electron microscopy, and to characterize different cellular interactions. Materials and Methods: Human bone marrow stromal cells were cultured in the presence of the BSM. In vitro, attachment of osteoblastlike cells (SAOS-2) to the BSM was observed with the scanning electron microscope. The expression of genes related to osteogenic differentiation (alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, type I collagen, and osteocalcin) was determined by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. In vivo, bone formation was examined with a murine model of ectopic bone formation through histology and computed tomographic scanning by using tissue-engineered constructs with the BSM and ovine bone marrow stromal cells. Results: Early cellular attachment could be detected as early as 6 hours. Cellular morphology developed in the following 66 hours toward a starlike appearance. Human bone marrow stromal cells cultured in the presence of the BSM showed no reduction in their viability. Osteocalcin was up-regulated during cell culturing, demonstrating an osteoinductive effect of BSM. Histologic and computed tomographic analyses showed the formation of new bone surrounding BSM particles, and a vascular meshwork was observed in the porosity of the particles. Conclusion: The analyzed bone substitute of synthetic origin presented osteoinductive properties that may exert a differentiative stimulus upon osteoprogenitor cells. The tested material allowed cellular adhesion of osteoblastlike cells and, following tissue construct implantation in vivo, supported the formation of new bone.