Osteogenic cell response to 3-D hydroxyapatite scaffolds developed via replication of natural marine sponges

SA Clarke, SY Choi, M McKeachie, GA Burke, N Dunne, G Walker, E Cunningham, F Buchanan

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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Bone tissue engineering may provide an alternative to autograft, however scaffold optimisation isrequired to maximize bone ingrowth. In designing scaffolds, pore architecture is important and there is evidence that cells prefer a degree of non-uniformity. The aim of this study was to compare scaffolds derived from a natural porous marine sponge (Spongia agaricina) with unique architecture to those derived from a synthetic polyurethane foam. Hydroxyapatite scaffolds of 1 cm3 were prepared via ceramic infiltration of a marine sponge and a polyurethane (PU) foam. Human foetal osteoblasts (hFOB) were seeded at 1 9 105 cells/scaffold for up to 14 days. Cytotoxicity, cell number, morphology and differentiation were investigated. PU-derived scaffolds had 84–91 % porosity and 99.99 % pore interconnectivity. In comparison marine sponge-derivedscaffolds had 56–61 % porosity and 99.9 % pore interconnectivity. hFOB studies showed that a greater number of cells were found on marine sponge-derived scaffolds at than on the PU scaffold but there was no significant difference in cell differentiation. X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry showed that Si ions were released from the marine-derived scaffold. In summary, three dimensional porous constructs have been manufactured that support cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation but significantly more cells were seen onmarine-derived scaffolds. This could be due both to the chemistry and pore architecture of the scaffolds with an additional biological stimulus from presence of Si ions. Further in vivo tests in orthotopic models are required but this marine-derived scaffold shows promise for applicationsin bone tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number22
Early online date24 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Feb 2016


  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Marine sponges
  • Osteoblast


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