Evaluating 3D bone tissue engineered constructs with different seeding densities using the alamarBlue™ assay and the effect on in vivo bone formation
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Bone tissue engineering using patient derived cells seeded onto porous scaffolds has gained much attention in recent years. Evaluating the viability of these 3D constructs is an essential step in optimizing the process. The alamarBlue™ (aB) assay was evaluated for its potential to follow in vitro cell proliferation on architecturally standardized hydroxyapatite scaffolds. The impact of the aB assayed and seeding density on subsequent in vivo bone formation was investigated. Twelve scaffolds were seeded with various densities from 250 to 2.5×106 cells/scaffold and assay by aB at 5 time points during the 7-day culture period. Twelve additional scaffolds were seeded with 2.5×105 cells/scaffold. Two control and 2 aB treated scaffolds were subcutaneously implanted into each of 6 nude mice for 6 weeks. Four observers ranked bone formation using a pair wise comparison of histological sections form each mouse. The aB assay successfully followed cell proliferation, however, the diffusion kinetics of the 3D constructs must be considered. The influence of in vitro aB treatment on subsequent in vivo bone formation cannot be ruled out but was not shown to be significant in the current study. The aB assay appears to be quite promising for evaluating a maximum or end-point viability of 3D tissue engineered constructs. Finally, higher seeding densities resulted in more observed bone formation.
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