Bone tissue engineering: A bioelectronics approach

Donata Iandolo, Jonathan Sheard, Galit Katarivas Levy, Charalampos Pitsalidis, Francesca Santoro, Athina E. Markaki, Darius Widera, Róisín M. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by bone loss and bone microarchitectural deterioration. The increasing life expectancy calls for innovative and effective approaches to compensate for bone loss.1 Due to their well-documented regenerative and anti-inflammatory potential, stem cells represent a promising option. The knowledge of bone piezoelectricity and of bioelectricity as a further cue to influence cell fate, in addition to biochemical and mechanical ones, has elicited for the use of physical stimulation together with electroactive materials as smart alternatives for bone tissue engineering.2-4 The combination of smart substrates, stem cells and physical stimulation to induce cell differentiation is therefore a new avenue in the field. Biomimetic scaffolds were prepared by combining the conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS with collagen type I, the most abundant protein in bone. Pores sizes, mechanical and impedance properties were measured as a function of scaffold composition. Two populations of stem cells, namely human adipose-derived stem cells and neural crest-derived stem cells were used to understand the impact of scaffold composition on cell behaviour. Osteogenic differentiation studies were run for 21days and the different compositions were assessed for their impact on stem cell fate. SEM coupled with FIB was used as a powerful tool to look into the fine interaction between material and cells, highlighting an intimate contact of the cells lining the pores walls. Preliminary electrical stimulation experiments were run using human adipose-derived stem cells and the adopted capacitive coupling protocol proved to positively affect stem cell osteogenic differentiation with an increase in the mineralised matrix deposited by cells at d21 after 4 days of electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBone Reports
Issue number100380
StatePublished - Oct 2020


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