Collagen-Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Induce Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells Osteogenic Differentiation In Vitro

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 16;11(3):e0151181. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151181. eCollection 2016.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a crucial role in regulating normal skeletal homeostasis and, in case of injury, in bone healing and reestablishment of skeletal integrity. Recent scientific literature is focused on the development of bone regeneration models where MSCs are combined with biomimetic three-dimensional scaffolds able to direct MSC osteogenesis. In this work the osteogenic potential of human MSCs isolated from adipose tissue (hADSCs) has been evaluated in vitro in combination with collagen/Mg doped hydroxyapatite scaffolds. Results demonstrate the high osteogenic potential of hADSCs when cultured in specific differentiation induction medium, as revealed by the Alizarin Red S staining and gene expression profile analysis. In combination with collagen/hydroxyapatite scaffold, hADSCs differentiate into mature osteoblasts even in the absence of specific inducing factors; nevertheless, the supplement of the factors markedly accelerates the osteogenic process, as confirmed by the expression of specific markers of pre-osteoblast and mature osteoblast stages, such as osterix, osteopontin (also known as bone sialoprotein I), osteocalcin and specific markers of extracellular matrix maturation and mineralization stages, such as ALPL and osteonectin. Hence, the present work demonstrates that the scaffold per se is able to induce hADSCs differentiation, while the addition of osteo-inductive factors produces a significant acceleration of the osteogenic process. This observation makes the use of our model potentially interesting in the field of regenerative medicine for the treatment of bone defects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Biomimetics
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Durapatite / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Tissue Scaffolds*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Collagen
  • Durapatite

Grant support

The present research was funded by the Italian “PON Ricerca e Competitività 2007–2013, ASSE I 829” grant programme entitled “Piattaforme tecnologiche innovative per l’ingegneria tissutale”. Finceramica provided support in the form of salaries for authors CF and EF, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section. There was no additional external funding received for this study.