Apatite-Based Microcarriers for Bone Tissue Engineering
The current available microcarriers were mainly targeted towards pharmaceutical industries, and might not be suitable for therapeutic implantation. As such, apatite-based microcarriers intended for bone tissue engineering applications would be featured here. Hydroxyapatite-Alginate (HA-Alg) suspension was extruded drop-wise into a calcium chloride (CaCl2) crosslinking solution. The HA-Alg microcarriers were then sintered to form microcarriers of uniform size. The physicochemical properties were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffractometery (XRD), and fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometry. Cell viability on these microcarriers was evaluated using human fetal mesenchymal stem cells (hfMSCs). SEM images revealed that sintered apatite-based microcarriers exhibited a rough surface topology with interconnected pores. XRD results showed that these microcarriers remained phase pure since no other secondary calcium phosphate phases were detected. FTIR analysis indicated several sharp phosphate bands coupled with a hydroxyl band (all belonging to HA). Live/dead staining showed that hfMSCs remained viable after 14 days of culture, and cells have spread and covered the surfaces of the microcarriers. Certainly, these cell-loaded microcarriers could be potentially used in bone implant science.
Kunio Ishikawa and Yukihide Iwamoto
J. Feng et al., "Apatite-Based Microcarriers for Bone Tissue Engineering", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 529-530, pp. 34-39, 2013