Enhancing osteoconduction of PLLA-based nanocomposite scaffolds for bone regeneration using different biomimetic signals to MSCs

Gabriela Ciapetti, Donatella Granchi, Valentina Devescovi, Serena R Baglio, Elisa Leonardi, Desirèe Martini, Maria Jesus Jurado, Beatriz Olalde, Ilaria Armentano, Josè M Kenny, Frank X Walboomers, Josè Inaki Alava, Nicola Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In bone engineering, the adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells rely on signaling from chemico-physical structure of the substrate, therefore prompting the design of mimetic "extracellular matrix"-like scaffolds. In this study, three-dimensional porous poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)-based scaffolds have been mixed with different components, including single walled carbon nanotubes (CNT), micro-hydroxyapatite particles (HA), and BMP2, and treated with plasma (PT), to obtain four different nanocomposites: PLLA + CNT, PLLA + CNTHA, PLLA + CNT + HA + BMP2 and PLLA + CNT + HA + PT. Adult bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were derived from the femur of orthopaedic patients, seeded on the scaffolds and cultured under osteogenic induction up to differentiation and mineralization. The release of specific metabolites and temporal gene expression profiles of marrow-derived osteoprogenitors were analyzed at definite time points, relevant to in vitro culture as well as in vivo differentiation. As a result, the role of the different biomimetic components added to the PLLA matrix was deciphered, with BMP2-added scaffolds showing the highest biomimetic activity on cells differentiating to mature osteoblasts. The modification of a polymeric scaffold with reinforcing components which also work as biomimetic cues for cells can effectively direct osteoprogenitor cells differentiation, so as to shorten the time required for mineralization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2439-58
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Aged
  • Biomimetic Materials
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Middle Aged
  • Nanocomposites
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteogenesis
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds

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