, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1753-1762,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 May 2011

Functionalisation of PLLA nanofiber scaffolds using a possible cooperative effect between collagen type I and BMP-2: impact on growth and osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells


Mesenchymal stem cell differentiation of osteoblasts is triggered by a series of signaling processes including integrin and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which therefore act in a cooperative manner. The aim of this study was to analyze whether these processes can be remodeled in an artificial poly-(l)-lactide acid (PLLA) based nanofiber scaffold. Matrices composed of PLLA-collagen type I or BMP-2 incorporated PLLA-collagen type I were seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) and cultivated over a period of 22 days, either under growth or osteoinductive conditions. During the course of culture, gene expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin (OC) and collagen I (COL-I) as well as Smad5 and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), two signal transduction molecules involved in BMP-2 or integrin signaling were analyzed. Furthermore, calcium and collagen I deposition, as well as cell densities and proliferation, were determined using fluorescence microscopy. The incorporation of BMP-2 into PLLA-collagen type I nanofibers resulted in a decrease in diameter as well as pore sizes of the scaffold. Mesenchymal stem cells showed better adherence and a reduced proliferation on BMP-containing scaffolds. This was accompanied by an increase in gene expression of ALP, OC and COL-I. Furthermore the presence of BMP-2 resulted in an upregulation of FAK, while collagen had an impact on the gene expression of Smad5. Therefore these different strategies can be combined in order to enhance the osteoblast differentiation of hMSC on PLLA based nanofiber scaffold. By doing this, different signal transduction pathways seem to be up regulated.