D the cell distribution [4,7]. A computational analysis suggested that sufficient flow

D the cell distribution [4,7]. A computational analysis suggested that sufficient flow fluid can be generated in porous scaffolds despite being partially sealed with a material similar to fibrin. Second, the shear stress resulting from the fluid flow may have simulated the seeded cells to differentiate, mature, produce extracellular matrix, and calcify [7]. Third, the hydrodynamic condition might promote cell-cell, and cell-matrix interaction and signal communication, which enhanced their autocrine/paracrine activities and maintained their differentiation [4,22]. In this study, we also observed that osteogenic activity could be influenced by the initial cell number and in vitro culture methods. Ectopic osteogenesis in nude mice is a widely used method for evaluating the performance of bone substitutes. Moreover, subcutaneous implantation is a challenging model for the implants because of the lack of osteoblast progenitors in the implantation area. Twelve weeks after implantation into the subcutaneous 18325633 pocket, implant I (cell-free DBM) was filled mainly by soft tissues and EZH2 inhibitor web showed only slight increase in radiographic density, indicating its lack of osteogenic activity in this site. Implant II showed the highest osteogenic activity according to radiography, histology, wet weight, and bone mineral density. This implant was seeded by the hydrogel-assisted method (26107 cells/ml, 0.05 ml), followed by hydrodynamic culture for 12 days to achieve the plateau cell number and, GSK429286A web hypothetically, the best osteogenic activity. Its superior performance confirmed that the combination of hydro-gel-assisted seeding and hydrodynamic culture is a promising protocol for tissue-engineering bone grafts. Implant III showed an intermediate osteogenic activity between the implants I and II. This implant was seeded with the same number of hMSCs as implant II by the hydrogel-assisted method, and was immediately implanted without in vitro culture. Therefore, a comparison between implants III and II demonstrated that the in vitro culture increased the osteogenic activity of implants. The increase may be attributed to several aspects. The in vitro culture increased the number of seeded cells, and allowed the cells to adhere more stably to the scaffold and thus prevented their detachment after implantation. The cells might also rearrange in order to more effectively interact and communicate with each other [4,22]. Additionally, the cells might produce extracellular matrix and osteogenic factors during the in vitro culture, which accelerated the subsequent osteogenesis in the subcutaneous pocket. Similarly, implant IV also showed lower osteogenic activity than implant II. Compared with implant II, implant IV was seeded with the same number of cells but statically cultured in vitro before implantation. Its inferior performance may be primarily attributed to its lower cell number as a result of the static culture, which lacked mechanical stimulation for the cells to proliferate and differentiate [11]. In summary, both in vitro and in vivo results suggest that hydrogel-assisted seeding can significantly increase the seeding efficiency and the initial cell density in the cell-scaffold construct. A subsequent hydrodynamic in vitro culture can significantly increase the plateau cell density. Correspondingly, bone grafts produced by the combination of these two methods can achieve the highest osteogenic activity. These findings can have a significant bearing in clinical applica.D the cell distribution [4,7]. A computational analysis suggested that sufficient flow fluid can be generated in porous scaffolds despite being partially sealed with a material similar to fibrin. Second, the shear stress resulting from the fluid flow may have simulated the seeded cells to differentiate, mature, produce extracellular matrix, and calcify [7]. Third, the hydrodynamic condition might promote cell-cell, and cell-matrix interaction and signal communication, which enhanced their autocrine/paracrine activities and maintained their differentiation [4,22]. In this study, we also observed that osteogenic activity could be influenced by the initial cell number and in vitro culture methods. Ectopic osteogenesis in nude mice is a widely used method for evaluating the performance of bone substitutes. Moreover, subcutaneous implantation is a challenging model for the implants because of the lack of osteoblast progenitors in the implantation area. Twelve weeks after implantation into the subcutaneous 18325633 pocket, implant I (cell-free DBM) was filled mainly by soft tissues and showed only slight increase in radiographic density, indicating its lack of osteogenic activity in this site. Implant II showed the highest osteogenic activity according to radiography, histology, wet weight, and bone mineral density. This implant was seeded by the hydrogel-assisted method (26107 cells/ml, 0.05 ml), followed by hydrodynamic culture for 12 days to achieve the plateau cell number and, hypothetically, the best osteogenic activity. Its superior performance confirmed that the combination of hydro-gel-assisted seeding and hydrodynamic culture is a promising protocol for tissue-engineering bone grafts. Implant III showed an intermediate osteogenic activity between the implants I and II. This implant was seeded with the same number of hMSCs as implant II by the hydrogel-assisted method, and was immediately implanted without in vitro culture. Therefore, a comparison between implants III and II demonstrated that the in vitro culture increased the osteogenic activity of implants. The increase may be attributed to several aspects. The in vitro culture increased the number of seeded cells, and allowed the cells to adhere more stably to the scaffold and thus prevented their detachment after implantation. The cells might also rearrange in order to more effectively interact and communicate with each other [4,22]. Additionally, the cells might produce extracellular matrix and osteogenic factors during the in vitro culture, which accelerated the subsequent osteogenesis in the subcutaneous pocket. Similarly, implant IV also showed lower osteogenic activity than implant II. Compared with implant II, implant IV was seeded with the same number of cells but statically cultured in vitro before implantation. Its inferior performance may be primarily attributed to its lower cell number as a result of the static culture, which lacked mechanical stimulation for the cells to proliferate and differentiate [11]. In summary, both in vitro and in vivo results suggest that hydrogel-assisted seeding can significantly increase the seeding efficiency and the initial cell density in the cell-scaffold construct. A subsequent hydrodynamic in vitro culture can significantly increase the plateau cell density. Correspondingly, bone grafts produced by the combination of these two methods can achieve the highest osteogenic activity. These findings can have a significant bearing in clinical applica.

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