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Bioactive glasses bond strongly to bone in vivo and their ionic dissolution products have previously been shown to have stimulatory properties on adult and fetal osteoblasts and to induce the differentiation of embryonic stem cells towards the osteoblastic lineage in vitro. In the present study, the effect of 45S5 Bioglass conditioned medium with two different Si concentrations (15 microg/ml (BGCM/15) and 20 microg/ml (BGCM/20)) on human fetal osteoblast growth, differentiation and extracellular matrix production and mineralization was investigated. In the first instance, primary fetal osteoblasts were examined for the osteoblast phenotypic markers alkaline phosphatase (ALP), collagen type I (Col I) and OB Cadherin (Cadherin 11) (OB Cad) as well as for the mesenchymal stem cell markers CD105 and CD166. At passage 0 more than 50% of the population was positive for Col I and ALP, but at passage 2, the proportion of cells expressing ALP increased. In addition at passage 0 more than 50% of the fetal osteoblasts expressed the mesenchymal stem cell surface markers CD105 and CD166. Treatment with BGCM/15 and BGCM/20 in the absence of osteogenic supplements increased the gene expression of the bone extracellular matrix proteins alkaline phosphatase, osteonectin and bone sialoprotein as determined by quantitative real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rt RT-PCR) analysis. Extracellular matrix production was also enhanced in the absence of osteogenic supplements by the 45S5 Bioglass conditioned medium as demonstrated by ALP enzymatic activity, osteocalcin and Col I protein synthesis. Furthermore, BGCM/15 and BGCM/20 significantly enhanced the formation of mineralized nodules, based on alizarin red histochemical staining, without necessitating the addition of beta-glycerophosphate, l-ascorbate-2-phosphate or dexamethasone (commonly used osteogenic supplements).

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3542 - 3550


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cell Differentiation, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Ceramics, Culture Media, Conditioned, Female, Fetus, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Profiling, Glass, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoblasts, Osteogenesis, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Stem Cells