, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 14-25
Date: 25 Jun 2010

Osteogenic Differentiation of Marrow Stromal Cells on Random and Aligned Electrospun Poly(l-lactide) Nanofibers

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The fibrillar structure and sub-micron diameter of electrospun nanofibers can be used to reproduce the morphology and structure of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). The objective of this work was to investigate the effect of fiber alignment on osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal (BMS) cells. Random and aligned poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) nanofibers were produced by collecting the spun fibers on a stationary plate and a rotating wheel, respectively, as the ground electrode. Morphology and alignment of the BMS cells seeded on the fibers were characterized by SEM. The effect of fiber orientation on osteogenic differentiation of BMS cells was determined by measuring alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) activity, calcium content, and mRNA expression levels of osteogenic markers. There was a strong correlation between the fiber and cell distributions for the random (p = 0.16) and aligned (p = 0.81) fibers. Percent deviation from ideal randomness (PDIR) values indicated that cells seeded on the random fibers (PDIR = 6.5%) were likely to be distributed randomly in all directions while cells seeded on the aligned fibers (PDIR = 86%) were highly likely to be aligned with the direction of fibers. BMS cell seeded on random and aligned fibers had similar cell count and ALPase activity with incubation time, but the calcium content on aligned fibers was significantly higher after 21 days compared to that of random fibers (p = 0.003). Osteopontin (OP) and osteocalcin (OC) expression levels of BMS cells on fibers increased with incubation time. However, there was no difference between the expression levels of OP and OC on aligned vs. random fibers. The results indicate that BMS cells aligned in the direction of PLLA fibers to form long cell extensions, and fiber orientation affected the extent of mineralization, but it had no effect on cell proliferation or mRNA expression of osteogenic markers.

Associate Editor Sriram Neelamegham oversaw the review of this article.