Biomineralized recombinant collagen-based scaffold mimicking native bone enhances mesenchymal stem cell interaction and differentiation

Gloria Belén Ramírez-Rodríguez, Monica Montesi, Silvia Panseri, Simone Sprio, Anna Tampieri, Monica Sandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The need of synthetic bone grafts that recreate from macro-to nanoscale level the biochemical and biophysical cues of bone extracellular matrix has been a major driving force for the development of new generation of biomaterials. In this study, synthetic bone substitutes have been synthesized via biomimetic mineralization of a recombinant collagen type I-derived peptide (RCP), enriched in tri-Amino acid sequence arginine-glycine-Aspartate (RGD). Three-dimensional (3D) isotropic porous scaffolds of three different compositions are developed by freeze-drying: non-mineralized (RCP, as a control), mineralized (Ap/RCP), and mineralized scaffolds in the presence of magnesium (MgAp/RCP) that closely imitate bone composition. The effect of mineral phase on scaffold pore size, porosity, and permeability, as well as on their in vitro kinetic degradation, is evaluated. The ultimate goal is to investigate how chemical (i.e., surface chemistry and ion release from scaffold) together with physical signals (i.e., surface nanotopography) conferred via biomimetic mineralization can persuade and guide mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) interaction and fate. The three scaffold compositions showed optimum pore size and porosity for osteoconduction, without significant differences between them. The degradation tests confirmed that MgAp/RCP scaffolds presented higher reactivity under physiological condition compared to Ap/RCP ones. The in vitro study revealed an enhanced cell growth and proliferation on MgAp/RCP scaffolds at day 7, 14, and 21. Furthermore, MgAp/RCP scaffolds potentially promoted cell migration through the inner areas reaching the bottom of the scaffold after 14 days. MSCs cultured on MgAp/RCP scaffolds displayed higher gene and protein expressions of osteogenic markers when comparing them with the results of those MSCs grown on RCP or Ap/RCP scaffolds. This work highlights that mineralization of recombinant collagen mimicking bone mineral composition and morphology is a versatile approach to design smart scaffold interface in a 3D model guiding MSC fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1435
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Biomimetic mineralization
  • Magnesium
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Recombinant collagen peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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