Publication Date



Scientific Reports


Recent advances in materials and manufacturing processes have allowed the fabrication of intricate implant surfaces to facilitate bony attachment. However, refinement and evaluation of these new design strategies are hindered by the cost and complications of animal studies, particularly during early iterations in the development process. To address this problem, we have previously constructed and validated an ex-vivo bone bioreactor culture system that can maintain the viability of bone samples for an extended period ex-vivo. In this study, we investigated the mineralization of a titanium wire mesh scaffold under both static and dynamic culturing using our ex vivo bioreactor system. Thirty-six cancellous bone cores were harvested from bovine metatarsals at the time of slaughter and divided into five groups under the following conditions: Group 1) Isolated bone cores placed in static culture, Group 2) Unloaded bone cores placed in static culture in contact with a fiber-mesh metallic scaffold, Group 3) Bone cores placed in contact with a fiber-mesh metallic scaffold under the constant pressure of 150 kPa, Group 4) Bone core placed in contact with a fiber-mesh metallic scaffold and exposed to cyclic loading with continuous perfusion flow of media within the ex-vivo culture system and Group 5) Bone core evaluated on Day 0 to serve as a positive control for comparison with all other groups at weeks 4 and 7. Bone samples within Groups 1-4 were incubated for 4 and 7 weeks and then evaluated using histological examination (H&E) and the Live-Dead assay (Life Technologies). Matrix deposits on the metallic scaffolds were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while the chemical composition of the matrix was measured using energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). We found that the viability of bone cores was maintained after seven weeks of loading in our ex vivo system. In addition, SEM images revealed crystallite-like structures on the dynamically loaded metal coupons (Group 4), corresponding to the initial stages of mineralization. EDX results further confirmed the presence of carbon at the interface and calcium phosphates in the matrix. We conclude that a bone bioreactor can be used as an alternate tool for in-vivo bone ingrowth studies of new implant surfaces or coatings.


Animals, Biomedical Engineering, Bioreactors, Bone Marrow Cells, Bone and Bones, Cattle, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Equipment Design, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Orthopedics, Osteoblasts, Osteogenesis, Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Pressure, Prostheses and Implants, Prosthesis Design, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds, Titanium, Translational Research, Biomedical


PMID: 34795368

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