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In vitro proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells on nanoporous alumina

Authors Song Y, Ju Y, Song G, Morita Y

Received 6 March 2013

Accepted for publication 15 May 2013

Published 29 July 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2745—2756


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Peer reviewer comments 4

Yuanhui Song,1 Yang Ju,1 Guanbin Song,2 Yasuyuki Morita1

1Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan; 2Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation are significantly affected by the surface topography of the substrates on which the cells are cultured. Alumina is one of the most popular implant materials used in orthopedics, but few data are available concerning the cellular responses of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) grown on nanoporous structures. MSCs were cultured on smooth alumina substrates and nanoporous alumina substrates to investigate the interaction between surface topographies of nanoporous alumina and cellular behavior. Nanoporous alumina substrates with pore sizes of 20 nm and 100 nm were used to evaluate the effect of pore size on MSCs as measured by proliferation, morphology, expression of integrin β1, and osteogenic differentiation. An MTT assay was used to measure cell viability of MSCs on different substrates, and determined that cell viability decreased with increasing pore size. Scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate the effect of pore size on cell morphology. Extremely elongated cells and prominent cell membrane protrusions were observed in cells cultured on alumina with the larger pore size. The expression of integrin β1 was enhanced in MSCs cultured on porous alumina, revealing that porous alumina substrates were more favorable for cell growth than smooth alumina substrates. Higher levels of osteoblastic differentiation markers such as alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and mineralization were detected in cells cultured on alumina with 100 nm pores compared with cells cultured on alumina with either 20 nm pores or smooth alumina. This work demonstrates that cellular behavior is affected by variation in pore size, providing new insight into the potential application of this novel biocompatible material for the developing field of tissue engineering.

Keywords: nanoporous alumina, mesenchymal stem cells, proliferation, differentiation, tissue engineering

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