Signalling strategies for osteogenic differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells for 3D bone tissue engineering

Limin Wang, Milind Singh, Lynda F. Bonewald, Michael S. Detamore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (hUCMSCs) have recently shown the capacity to differentiate into multiple cell lineages in all three embryonic germ layers. The osteogenic differentiation of hUCMSCs in monolayer culture has been reported, while the differentiation in three-dimensional biomaterials has not yet been reported for tissue-engineering applications. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using hUCMSCs for bone tissue engineering. hUCMSCs were cultured in poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) scaffolds in osteogenic medium (OM) for 3 weeks, after which the scaffolds were exposed to several different media, including the OM, a mineralization medium (MM) and the MM with either 10 or 100 ng/ml insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1. The osteogenic differentiation was confirmed by the up-regulation of Runx2 and OCN, calcium quantification and bone histology. Switching from the OM to the MM promoted collagen synthesis and calcium content per cell, while continuing in the OM retained more cells in the constructs and promoted higher osteogenic gene expression. The addition of IGF-1 into the MM had no effect on cell proliferation, differentiation and matrix synthesis. In conclusion, hUCMSCs show significant potential for bone tissue engineering and culturing in the OM throughout the entire period is beneficial for osteogenic differentiation of these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-404
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009



  • IGF-1
  • Osteogenesis
  • Stem cells
  • Umbilical cord stroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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