Human mesenchymal stromal cells response to biomimetic octacalcium phosphate containing strontium

Zeinab Tahmasebi Birgani, Angad Malhotra, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Pamela Habibovic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The incorporation of bioinorganics into synthetic biomaterials is a promising approach to improve the biological performance of bone graft substitutes, while still retaining their synthetic nature. Among these bioinorganics, strontium ions (Sr2+) have reported enhanced bone formation, and a reduced risk of bone fractures. While previous results have been encouraging, more detailed studies are needed to further develop specific applications. This study demonstrates the effects of Sr2+ on the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) when introduced as either a dissolved salt, or incorporated into biomimetic calcium phosphate (CaP) coatings. Upon attachment, hMSCs seeded in the presence of higher Sr2+ concentrations presented with a more elongated shape as compared to the controls without Sr2+. Both Sr2+ as a dissolved salt in the medium, or incorporated into CaP coatings, positively influenced hMSC alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in a dose-dependent manner. At the mRNA level, the expression of osteogenic markers ALP, bone sialoprotein, bone morphogenetic protein 2, osteopontin, and osteoclacin were increased in the presence of Sr2+, independent of the delivery method. Overall, this study demonstrates the positive effects of strontium on the osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs, and supports the use of strontium-incorporated CaPs for bone regeneration applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1946-1960
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • bioinorganics
  • strontium
  • calcium phosphate coatings
  • osteogenic differentiation
  • human mesenchymal stromal cells

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