Induction of ectopic bone formation by using human periosteal cells in combination with a novel scaffold technology

Cell Transplant. 2002;11(2):125-38.


Due to their osteogenic germination potential, periosteum-derived osteoprogenitor cells are a potential source for tissue engineering a bone graft that could be used to regenerate skeletal defects. In this study we evaluated if ectopic bone formation could be induced by a construct made of human periosteal cells and a novel scaffold architecture whose mechanical properties are in the range of cancellous bone. Biopsies from human calvarial periosteum were harvested and cells were isolated from the inner cambial layer. Fifty thousand periosteal cells were seeded into the scaffolds measuring 6 x 6 x 2 mm. The cell-scaffold constructs were cultured for a period of 3 weeks prior to implantation into balb C nude mice. Mice were sacrificed and implants were analyzed 6 and 17 weeks postoperatively. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the osteoblastic phenotype of the seeded cells. Formation of focal adhesions and stress fibers could be observed in both scaffold architectures. Three-dimensional cell proliferation was observed after 2 weeks of culturing with centripetal growth pattern inside the pore network. The deposition of calcified extracellular matrix was observed after 3 weeks of culturing. In vivo, endochondral bone formation with osteoid production was detectable via von Kossa and Osteocalcin staining after 6 and 17 weeks. Histology and SEM revealed that the entire scaffold/bone grafts were penetrated by a vascular network. This study showed the potential of bone tissue engineering by using human periosteal cells in combination with a novel scaffold technology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases / surgery
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Bone Transplantation / trends
  • Bone and Bones / blood supply
  • Bone and Bones / surgery
  • Bone and Bones / ultrastructure
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / trends
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Graft Survival / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osteocalcin / metabolism
  • Periosteum / cytology
  • Periosteum / physiology
  • Periosteum / transplantation*
  • Phenotype
  • Polyesters / pharmacology
  • Polyesters / therapeutic use
  • Prostheses and Implants / standards
  • Prostheses and Implants / trends*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / trends
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Stem Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / trends


  • Polyesters
  • Osteocalcin
  • polycaprolactone