Hydrodynamic compression of young and adult rat osteoblast-like cells on titanium fiber mesh


Living bone cells are responsive to mechanical loading. Consequently, numerous in vitro models have been developed to examine the application of loading to cells. However, not all systems are suitable for the fibrous and porous three-dimensional materials, which are preferable for tissue repair purposes, or for the production of tissue engineering scaffolds. For three-dimensional applications, mechanical loading of cells with either fluid flow systems or hydrodynamic pressure systems has to be considered. Here, we aimed to evaluate the response of osteoblast-like cells to hydrodynamic compression, while growing in a three-dimensional titanium fiber mesh scaffolding material. For this purpose, a custom hydrodynamic compression chamber was built. Bone marrow cells were obtained from the femora of young (12-day-old) or old (1-year-old) rats, and precultured in the presence of dexamethasone and β-glycerophosphate to achieve an osteoblast-like phenotype. Subsequently, cells were seeded onto the titanium mesh scaffolds, and subjected to hydrodynamic pressure, alternating between 0.3 to 5.0 MPa at 1 Hz, at 15-min intervals for a total of 60 min per day for up to 3 days. After pressurization, cell viability was checked. Afterward, DNA levels, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and extracellular calcium content were measured. Finally, all specimens were observed with scanning electron microscopy. Cell viability studies showed that the applied pressure was not harmful to the cells. Furthermore, we found that cells were able to detect the compression forces, because we did see evident effects on the cell numbers of the cells derived from old animals. However, there were no other changes in the cells under pressure. Finally, it was also noticeable that cells from old animals did not express ALP activity, but did show similar calcified extracellular matrix formation to the cells from young animals. In conclusion, the difference in DNA levels as reaction toward pressure, and the difference in ALP levels, suggest that the osteogenic properties of bone marrow-derived osteoblast-like cells are different with respect to the age of the donor. ©2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A