Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 237-244

First online:

Effect of multiple unconfined compression on cellular dense collagen scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

  • Malak BitarAffiliated withDivsion of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, UCL Eastman Dental Institute Email author 
  • , Vehid SalihAffiliated withDivsion of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, UCL Eastman Dental Institute
  • , Robert A. BrownAffiliated withUCL Tissue Repair & Engineering Centre, Institute of Orthopaedics
  • , Showan N. NazhatAffiliated withDivsion of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, UCL Eastman Dental InstituteDepartment of Mining, Metals and Materials Engineering, McGill University

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Plastic compression of hydrated collagen gels rapidly produces biomimetic scaffolds of improved mechanical properties. These scaffolds can potentially be utilised as cell seeded systems for bone tissue engineering. This work investigated the influence of multiple unconfined compression on the biocompatibility and mechanical properties of such systems. Single and double compressed dense collagen matrices were produced and characterised for protein dry weight, morphology and mechanical strength. Compression related maintenance of the seeded HOS TE85 cell line viability in relation to the extent of compression was evaluated up to 10 days in culture using the TUNEL assay. Fluorescence Live/Dead assay was conducted to examine overall cell survival and morphology. Cell induced structural changes in the dense collagenous scaffolds were assessed by routine histology. The mechanical properties of the cellular scaffolds were also evaluated as a function of time in culture.

It is clear that a single plastic compression step produced dense collagenous scaffolds capable of maintaining considerable cell viability and function as signs of matrix remodeling, and maintenance of mechanical properties were evident. Such scaffolds should therefore be further developed as systems for bone tissue regeneration.