Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 14;12(1):19509. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-24160-2.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising candidate for bone repair. However, the maintenance of MSCs injected into the bone injury site remains inefficient. A potential approach is to develop a bone-liked platform that incorporates MSCs into a biocompatible 3D scaffold to facilitate bone grafting into the desired location. Bone tissue engineering is a multistep process that requires optimizing several variables, including the source of cells, osteogenic stimulation factors, and scaffold properties. This study aims to evaluate the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation potentials of MSCs cultured on 2 types of 3D-printed hydroxyapatite, including a 3D-printed HA and biomimetic calcium phosphate-coated 3D-printed HA. MSCs from bone marrow (BM-MSCs) and umbilical cord (UC-MSCs) were cultured on the 3D-printed HA and coated 3D-printed HA. Scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence staining were used to examine the characteristics and the attachment of MSCs to the scaffolds. Additionally, the cell proliferation was monitored, and the ability of cells to differentiate into osteoblast was assessed using alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteogenic gene expression. The BM-MSCs and UC-MSCs attached to a plastic culture plate with a spindle-shaped morphology exhibited an immunophenotype consistent with the characteristics of MSCs. Both MSC types could attach and survive on the 3D-printed HA and coated 3D-printed HA scaffolds. The MSCs cultured on these scaffolds displayed sufficient osteoblastic differentiation capacity, as evidenced by increased ALP activity and the expression of osteogenic genes and proteins compared to the control. Interestingly, MSCs grown on coated 3D-printed HA exhibited a higher ALP activity and osteogenic gene expression than those cultured on the 3D-printed HA. The finding indicated that BM-MSCs and UC-MSCs cultured on the 3D-printed HA and coated 3D-printed HA scaffolds could proliferate and differentiate into osteoblasts. Thus, the HA scaffolds could provide a suitable and favorable environment for the 3D culture of MSCs in bone tissue engineering. Additionally, biomimetic coating with octacalcium phosphate may improve the biocompatibility of the bone regeneration scaffold.