In Vitro Biomineralization Induced by Self-Assembled Extracellular Matrix Proteins
Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins play an essential role during biomineralization in bone and engineered tissues. In a previous study , we showed that calcite preferentially nucleated on pure elastin fibers. However, the actual cellular ECM fibers are composed of a combination of proteins, primarily collagen, fibronectin and some elastin. Here we follow the calcium carbonate- and calcium phosphate- mineralization process in vitro when these ECM proteins are combined and determine the differences between these proteins in the biomineralization process. The surface morphology and mechanical properties of the protein fibers during the early stages were probed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and shear modulation force microscopy (SMFM). The nucleation of the mineral crystals on the protein matrices was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Preliminary data showed that the moduli of all protein fibers increased at the early stages, with collagen having the largest increase in supersaturated calcium bicarbonate solution. In metastable calcium phosphate solutions the modulus of the mixed elastin-fibronectin fibres increased to a greater extent than the moduli of the fibers composed of the single proteins. Longer exposure in the mineral solutions led to the formation of crystals templated along the self-assembled fiber structures.
Guy Daculsi and Pierre Layrolle
X. Ba et al., "In Vitro Biomineralization Induced by Self-Assembled Extracellular Matrix Proteins", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 361-363, pp. 427-430, 2008