Human fetal bone cells in delivery systems for bone engineering
The aim of this study was to culture human fetal bone cells (dedicated cell banks of fetal bone derived from 14 week gestation femurs) within both hyaluronic acid gel and collagen foam, to compare the biocompatibility of both matrices as potential delivery systems for bone engineering and particularly for oral application. Fetal bone cell banks were prepared from one organ donation and cells were cultured for up to 4 weeks within hyaluronic acid (Mesolis) and collagen foams (TissueFleece). Cell survival and differentiation were assessed by cell proliferation assays and histology of frozen sections stained with Giemsa, von Kossa and ALP at 1, 2 and 4 weeks of culture. Within both materials, fetal bone cells could proliferate in three-dimensional structure at ∼70% capacity compared to monolayer culture. In addition, these cells were positive for ALP and von Kossa staining, indicating cellular differentiation and matrix production. Collagen foam provides a better structure for fetal bone cell delivery if cavity filling is necessary and hydrogels would permit an injectable technique for difficult to treat areas. In all, there was high biocompatibility, cellular differentiation and matrix deposition seen in both matrices by fetal bone cells, allowing for easy cell delivery for bone stimulation in vivo.