Evaluation of two biodegradable polymeric systems as substrates for bone tissue engineering

S.C. Mendes, J.M. Bezemer, M.B. Claase, D.W. Grijpma, G. Bellia, F. Degli-Innocenti, R.L. Reis, K. de Groot, C.A. van Blitterswijk, J.D. de Bruijn

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The aim of this study was to evaluate two biodegradable polymeric systems as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Rat bone marrow cells were seeded and cultured for 1 week on two biodegradable porous polymeric systems, one composed of poly(ethylene glycol)-terephthalate/poly(butylene terephthalate) (PEGT/PBT) and the other composed of cornstarch blended with poly(ε-caprolactone) (SPCL). Porous hydroxyapatite granules were used as controls. The ability of cells to proliferate and form extracellular matrix on these scaffolds was assessed by a DNA quantification assay and by scanning electron microscopy examination; their osteogenic differentiation was screened by the expression of alkaline phosphatase. In addition, the in vivo osteogenic potential of the engineered constructs was evaluated through ectopic implantation in a nude mouse model. Results revealed that cells were able to proliferate, differentiate, and form extracellular matrix on all materials tested. Moreover, all constructs induced abundant formation of bone and bone marrow after 4 weeks of implantation. The extent of osteogenesis (~30% of void volume) was similar in all types of implants. However, the amount of bone marrow and the degree of bone contact were higher on HA scaffolds, indicating that the polymers still need to be modulated for higher osteoconductive capacity. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that both PEGT/PBT and SPCL systems are excellent candidates to be used as scaffolds for a cell therapy approach in the treatment of bone defects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S91-S102
JournalTissue engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • METIS-216595
  • IR-67211


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