Osteosarcoma cell death induced by innovative scaffolds doped with chemotherapeutics

Carmen Lanzillotti, Maria Rosa Iaquinta, Raffaella De Pace, Maria Mosaico, Simone Patergnani, Carlotta Giorgi, Marta Tavoni, Massimiliano Dapporto, Simone Sprio, Anna Tampieri, Monica Montesi, Fernanda Martini, Elisa Mazzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Osteosarcoma (OS) cancer treatments include systemic chemotherapy and surgical resection. In the last years, novel treatment approaches have been proposed, which employ a drug-delivery system to prevent offside effects and improves treatment efficacy. Locally delivering anticancer compounds improves on high local concentrations with more efficient tumour-killing effect, reduced drugs resistance and confined systemic effects. Here, the synthesis of injectable strontium-doped calcium phosphate (SrCPC) scaffold was proposed as drug delivery system to combine bone tissue regeneration and anticancer treatment by controlled release of methotrexate (MTX) and doxorubicin (DOX), coded as SrCPC-MTX and SrCPC-DOX, respectively. The drug-loaded cements were tested in an in vitro model of human OS cell line SAOS-2, engineered OS cell line (SAOS-2-eGFP) and U2-OS. The ability of doped scaffolds to induce OS cell death and apoptosis was assessed analysing cell proliferation and Caspase-3/7 activities, respectively. To determine if OS cells grown on doped-scaffolds change their migratory ability and invasiveness, a wound-healing assay was performed. In addition, the osteogenic potential of SrCPC material was evaluated using human adipose derived-mesenchymal stem cells. Osteogenic markers such as (i) the mineral matrix deposition was analysed by alizarin red staining; (ii) the osteocalcin (OCN) protein expression was investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test, and (iii) the osteogenic process was studied by real-time polymerase chain reaction array. The delivery system induced cell-killing cytotoxic effects and apoptosis in OS cell lines up to Day 7. SrCPC demonstrates a good cytocompatibility and it induced upregulation of osteogenic genes involved in the skeletal development pathway, together with OCN protein expression and mineral matrix deposition. The proposed approach, based on the local, sustained release of anticancer drugs from nanostructured biomimetic drug-loaded cements is promising for future therapies aiming to combine bone regeneration and anticancer local therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31256
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


  • apoptosis
  • calcium phosphate bone cement
  • drug delivery
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • osteosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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