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This study investigates the cellular response of fetal osteoblasts to bioactive resorbable composite films consisting of a poly-D,L-lactide (PDLLA) matrix and bioactive glass 45S5 Bioglass (BG) particles at three different concentrations (0% (PDLLA), 5% (P/BG5), and 40% (P/BG40)). Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) we observed that cells were less spread and elongated on PDLLA and P/BG5, whereas cells on P/BG40 were elongated but with multiple protrusions spreading over the BG particles. Vinculin immunostaining revealed similar distribution of focal adhesion contacts on all cells independent of substratum, indicating that all materials permitted cell adhesion. However, when differentiation and maturation of fetal osteoblasts was examined, incorporation of 45S5 BG within the PDLLA matrix was found to significantly (p < 0.05) enhance alkaline phosphatase enzymatic activity and osteocalcin protein synthesis compared to tissue culture polystyrene controls and PDLLA alone. Alizarin red staining indicated extracellular matrix mineralization on both P/BG5 and P/BG40, with significantly more bone nodules formed than on PDLLA. Real time RT-PCR revealed that expression of bone sialoprotein was also affected by the BG containing films compared to controls, whereas expression of Collagen Type I was not influenced. By performing these investigations in the absence of osteogenic factors it appears that the incorporation of BG stimulates osteoblast differentiation and mineralization of the extracellular matrix, demonstrating the osteoinductive capacity of the composite.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biomed Mater Res A

Publication Date





837 - 851


Antigens, Differentiation, Bone Regeneration, Bone Substitutes, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Ceramics, Fetus, Glass, Humans, Materials Testing, Osteoblasts, Osteogenesis, Polyesters