Microsphere-based drug releasing scaffolds for inducing osteogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells in vitro

Xuetao Shi, Yingjun Wang, Rohan R. Varshney, Li Ren, Yihong Gong, Dong An Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, in vitro osteogenesis was successfully achieved in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) by controlled release of the osteogenesis-inducing drugs dexamethasone, ascorbic acid (AA) and β-glycerophosphate (GP) from poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) sintered microsphere scaffolds (SMS). We investigated the osteogenesis of human MSCs (hMSCs) on dexamethasone laden PLGA-SMS (PLGA-Dex-SMS), and dexamethasone, AA and GP laden PLGA-SMS (PLGA-Com-SMS). hMSCs cultured on the microsphere systems, which act as drug release vehicles and also promote cell growth/tissue formation-displayed a strong osteogenic commitment locally. The osteogenic commitment of hMSCs on the scaffolds were verified by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assay, calcium secretion assay, real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry analysis. The results indicated hMSCs cultured on PLGA-Com-SMS exhibited superior osteogenic differentiation owing to significantly high phenotypic expression of typical osteogenic genes-osteocalcin (OC), type I collagen, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and Runx-2/Cbfa-1, and protein secretion of bone-relevant markers such as osteoclast and type I collagen when compared with PLGA-Dex-SMS. In conclusion, by promoting osteogenic development of hMSCs in vitro, this newly designed controlled release system opens a new door to bone reparation and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 31
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Dexamethasone
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Osteogenesis
  • Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)
  • β-Glycerophosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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