The influence of bone allograft processing on osteoblast attachment and function

J Orthop Res. 2005 Jul;23(4):846-54. doi: 10.1016/j.orthres.2004.11.012. Epub 2005 Jan 26.


In order to assess the influence of eight different sterilisation and disinfection methods for bone allografts on adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC), cells were grown in culture and then plated onto pieces of human bone allografts. Following processing methods were tested: autoclavation (AUT), low-temperature-plasma sterilisation of demineralised allografts (D-LTP), ethylene oxide sterilisation (EtO), fresh frozen bone (FFB), 80 degrees C-thermodisinfection (80 degrees C), gamma-irradiation (Gamma), chemical solvent disinfection (CSD), and Barrycidal-disinfection (BAR). The seeding efficiency was determined after one hour to detect the number of attached cells before mitosis started. The cell viability was determined after 3, 7, and 21 days. Tests to confirm the osteoblastic differentiation included histochemical alkaline phosphatase staining and RT-PCR for osteocalcin. Human BMSC showed greatest attachment affinities for D-LTP-, 80 degrees C-, and CSD-allografts, whereas less cells were found attached to AUT-, EtO-, FFB-, Gamma-, and BAR-probes. Cell viability assays at day 3 revealed highest proliferation rates within the FFB- and 80 degrees C-groups, whereas after 21 days most viable cells were found in D-LTP-, 80 degrees C-, CSD-, and Gamma-groups. BAR-treatment showed a considerably toxic effect and therefore was excluded from all further experiments. Highest AP-activity and gene expression of osteocalcin were detected in the D-LTP-group in comparison with all other groups. In summary, our results demonstrate that cell adhesion, final population, and function of BMSC are influenced by different disinfection and sterilisation methods. Therefore, processing-related alterations of BMSC-function may be important for the success of bone grafting. The experimental setup used in the present work may be useful for further optimisation of bone allograft processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / genetics
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / physiology*
  • Osteocalcin / genetics
  • Sterilization
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Osteocalcin
  • Alkaline Phosphatase