Titanium-enriched hydroxyapatite-gelatin scaffolds with osteogenically differentiated progenitor cell aggregates for calvaria bone regeneration

João R. Ferreira, Ricardo Padilla, Ganokon Urkasemsin, Kun Yoon, Kelly Goeckner, Wei Shou Hu, Ching Chang Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Adequate bony support is the key to re-establish both function and esthetics in the craniofacial region. Autologous bone grafting has been the gold standard for regeneration of problematic large bone defects. However, poor graft availability and donor-site complications have led to alternative bone tissue-engineering approaches combining osteoinductive biomaterials and three-dimensional cell aggregates in scaffolds or constructs. The goal of the present study was to generate novel cell aggregate-loaded macroporous scaffolds combining the osteoinductive properties of titanium dioxide (TiO2) with hydroxyapatite-gelatin nanocomposites (HAP-GEL) for regeneration of craniofacial defects. Here we investigated the in vivo applicability of macroporous (TiO2)-enriched HAP-GEL scaffolds with undifferentiated and osteogenically differentiated multipotent adult progenitor cell (MAPC and OD-MAPC, respectively) aggregates for calvaria bone regeneration. The silane-coated HAP-GEL with and without TiO2 additives were polymerized and molded to produce macroporous scaffolds. Aggregates of the rat MAPC were precultured, loaded into each scaffold, and implanted to rat calvaria critical-size defects to study bone regeneration. Bone autografts were used as positive controls and a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffold for comparison purposes. Preimplanted scaffolds and calvaria bone from pig were tested for ultimate compressive strength with an Instron 4411® and for porosity with microcomputerized tomography (μCT). Osteointegration and newly formed bone (NFB) were assessed by μCT and nondecalcified histology, and quantified by calcium fluorescence labeling. Results showed that the macroporous TiO2-HAP-GEL scaffold had a comparable strength relative to the natural calvaria bone (13.8±4.5 MPa and 24.5±8.3 MPa, respectively). Porosity was 1.52±0.8 mm and 0.64±0.4 mm for TiO2-HAP-GEL and calvaria bone, respectively. At 8 and 12 weeks postimplantation into rat calvaria defects, greater osteointegration and NFB were significantly present in the TiO2-enriched HAP-GEL constructs with OD-MAPCs, compared to the undifferentiated MAPC-loaded constructs, cell-free HAP-GEL with and without titanium, and PLGA scaffolds. The tissue-engineered TiO2-enriched HAP-GEL constructs with OD-MAPC aggregates present a potential useful therapeutic approach for calvaria bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1803-1816
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


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