Dual-phase osteogenic and vasculogenic engineered tissue for bone formation

Tissue Eng Part A. 2015 Feb;21(3-4):530-40. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0740. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


Minimally invasive, injectable bone tissue engineering therapies offer the potential to facilitate orthopedic repair procedures, including in indications where enhanced bone regeneration is needed for complete healing. In this study, we developed a dual-phase tissue construct consisting of osteogenic (Osteo) and vasculogenic (Vasculo) components. A modular tissue engineering approach was used to create collagen/fibrin/hydroxyapatite (COL/FIB/HA) hydrogel microbeads containing embedded human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSC). These microbeads were predifferentiated toward the osteogenic lineage in vitro for 14 days, and they were then embedded within a COL/FIB vasculogenic phase containing a coculture of undifferentiated bmMSC and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). In vitro studies demonstrated homogenous dispersion of microbeads within the outer phase, with endothelial network formation around the microbeads over 14 days in the coculture conditions. Subcutaneous injection into immunodeficient mice was used to investigate the ability of dual-phase (Osteo+Vasculo) and control (Osteo, Vasculo, Blank) constructs to form neovasculature and ectopic bone. Laser Doppler imaging demonstrated blood perfusion through all constructs at 1, 4, and 8 weeks postimplantation. Histological quantification of total vessel density showed no significant differences between the conditions. Microcomputed tomography indicated significantly higher ectopic bone volume (BV) in the Osteo condition at 4 weeks. At 8 weeks both the Osteo and Blank groups exhibited higher BV compared to the Vasculo and dual Osteo+Vasculo groups. These data not only show that osteogenic microbeads can be used to induce ectopic bone formation, but also suggest an inhibitory effect on BV when undifferentiated bmMSC and HUVEC were included in dual-phase constructs. This work may lead to improved methods for engineering vascularized bone tissue, and to injectable therapies for the treatment of orthopedic pathologies in which bone regeneration is delayed or prevented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Development / physiology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques / methods
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods