Using microspherical scaffolds as building blocks to repair bone defects of specific size and shape has been proposed as a tissue engineering strategy. Here, phosphate glass (PG) microcarriers doped with 5 mol % TiO2 and either 0 mol % CoO (CoO 0%) or 2 mol % CoO (CoO 2%) were investigated for their ability to support osteogenic and vascular responses of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Together with standard culture techniques, cell-material interactions were studied using a novel perfusion microfluidic bioreactor that enabled cell culture on microspheres, along with automated processing and screening of culture variables. While titanium doping was found to support hMSCs expansion and differentiation, as well as endothelial cell-derived vessel formation, additional doping with cobalt did not improve the functionality of the microspheres. Furthermore, the microfluidic bioreactor enabled screening of culture parameters for cell culture on microspheres that could be potentially translated to a scaled-up system for tissue-engineered bone manufacturing.
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Funding: This work was financially supported by an EPSRC Doctoral
Training Grant and Industrial Doctorate Centre in Bioprocess
Engineering Leadership (grant number: EP/G034656/1);
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under Grant agreement No 739572; National Research
Foundation (NRF), Republic of Korea (NRF2018R1A2B3003446; NRF-2018K1A4A3A01064257). It was
also funded in part by the Australian Research Council Discovery
Grants Scheme (DP140104217).
- Stem cells
- osteogenic differentiation
- phosphate glass
- tissue engineering