MgCHA particles dispersion in porous PCL scaffolds: In vitro mineralization and in vivo bone formation

Vincenzo Guarino, Silvia Scaglione, Monica Sandri, Marco A. Alvarez-Perez, Anna Tampieri, Rodolfo Quarto, Luigi Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this work, we focus on the in vitro and in vivo response of composite scaffolds obtained by incorporating Mg,CO3-doped hydroxyapatite (HA) particles in poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) porous matrices. After a complete analysis of chemical and physical properties of synthesized particles (i.e. SEM/EDS, DSC, XRD and FTIR), we demonstrate that the Mg,CO3 doping influences the surface wettability with implications upon cell-material interaction and new bone formation mechanisms. In particular, ion substitution in apatite crystals positively influences the early in vitro cellular response of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), i.e. adhesion and proliferation, and promotes an extensive mineralization of the scaffold in osteogenic medium, thus conforming to a more faithful reproduction of the native bone environment than undoped HA particles, used as control in PCL matrices. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Mg,CO3-doped HA in PCL scaffolds support the in vivo cellular response by inducing neo-bone formation as early as 2months post-implantation, and abundant mature bone tissue at the sixth month, with a lamellar structure and completely formed bone marrow. Together, these results indicate that Mg2+ and CO3 2- ion substitution in HA particles enhances the scaffold properties, providing the right chemical signals to combine with morphological requirements (i.e. pore size, shape and interconnectivity) to drive osteogenic response in scaffold-aided bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Bone regeneration
  • Composite scaffolds
  • Ectopic model
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Magnesium
  • Mesenchymal stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials


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