Biomimetically mineralized collagen scaffolds are promising for bone regeneration, but vascularization of these materials remains to be addressed. Here, we engineered mineralized scaffolds using an osteopontin-guided polymer-induced liquid-precursor mineralization method to recapitulate bone's mineralized nanostructure. SEM images of mineralized samples confirmed the presence of collagen with intrafibrillar mineral, also EDS spectra and FTIR showed high peaks of calcium and phosphate, with a similar mineral/matrix ratio to native bone. Mineralization increased collagen compressive modulus up to 15-fold. To evaluate vasculature formation and pericyte-like differentiation, HUVECs and hMSCs were seeded in a 4:1 ratio in the scaffolds for 7 days. Moreover, we used RT-PCR to investigate the gene expression of pericyte markers ACTA2, desmin, CD13, NG2, and PDGFRβ. Confocal images showed that both nonmineralized and mineralized scaffolds enabled endothelial capillary network formation. However, vessels in the nonmineralized samples had longer vessel length, a larger number of junctions, and a higher presence of αSMA+ mural cells. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the downregulation of pericytic markers in mineralized samples. In conclusion, although both scaffolds enabled endothelial capillary network formation, mineralized scaffolds presented less pericyte-supported vessels. These observations suggest that specific scaffold characteristics may be required for efficient scaffold vascularization in future bone tissue engineering strategies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials|
|State||Published - Jul 2019|
- bone scaffold
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering