The human amniotic membrane (hAM) has been successfully used as a natural carrier containing amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells, epithelial cells and growth factors. It has a little or no immunogenicity, and possesses useful anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic and analgesic properties. It has been used for many years in several indications for soft tissue repair. We previously reported that hAM represents a natural and preformed sheet containing highly potent stem cells, and could thus be used for bone repair. Indeed, native hAM possesses pre-osteoblastic potential that can easily be stimulated, even as far as mineralization, by means of in vitro osteogenic culture. However, cell culture induces damage to the tissue, as well as to cell phenotype and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate new bone formation by fresh and in vitro osteodifferentiated hAM, alone or associated with an additional scaffold presenting osteoinductive properties. Moreover, we also aimed to determine the effect of in vitro hAM pre-osteodifferentiation on its in vivo biocompatibility/tissue degradation. Results showed that neither fresh nor osteodifferentiated hAM induced ectopic bone formation, whether or not it was associated with the osteoinductive scaffold. Secondly, fresh and osteodifferentiated hAM presented similar in vivo tissue degradation, suggesting that in vitro hAM pre-osteodifferentiation did not influence its in vivo biocompatibility.
Keywords: Biocompatibility; Bone; Ectopic; Immune reaction; Mice; Osteogenic potential.