Osteoblastic behavior of human bone marrow cells cultured over adsorbed collagen layer, over surface of collagen gels, and inside collagen gels

Connect Tissue Res. 2009;50(5):336-46.


While collagen type I is often used as a substrate for cell culturing and as a coating in biomedical implants, as far as we know a simple systematic study comparing the effects of the different presentations of collagen type I on the osteoblastic behavior of cells is missing. In this work, human bone marrow cells (hBMCs) were cultured under osteoblastic-inducing conditions, for 21 days, over a layer of adsorbed collagen (monomeric) and on the surface and inside collagen gels (fibrillar). Comparison was made based on three classical parameters; cell proliferation/viability, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and production of mineral deposits. The three types of collagen type I substrates allowed the adhesion, proliferation, and the osteoblastic differentiation of cells. However, hBMCs behavior was influenced by the monomeric/fibrillar and 2-/3-dimensional nature of the collagen substrates, namely: monomeric collagen favored cell attachment; cells on 2D substrates presented higher proliferation rates during the exponential phase of growth with formation of spiral-like multilayered structures; cells seeded inside 3D collagen gels formed a regular dense cellular mesh and had a low proliferating rate; cells cultured over or inside fibrillar collagen differentiated faster, with the 3D cultures presenting higher levels of ALP activity; and the extension of mineralization was greater for the cultures done over or inside fibrillar collagen. Thus, cells cultured over collagen gels showed both the ability for cell proliferation and for earlier differentiation, a fact that can be exploited in the biomaterials field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Organs
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bone Diseases / therapy
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Bone Regeneration / physiology
  • Bone Substitutes / chemistry
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Calcification, Physiologic / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Culture Media / pharmacology*
  • Gels / chemistry
  • Gels / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Culture Media
  • Gels
  • Collagen