Hemocyanin modification of chitosan scaffolds with calcium phosphate phases increase the osteoblast/osteoclast activity ratio—A co-culture study

Benjamin Kruppke, Christiane Heinemann, Jana Farack, Simy Weil, Eliahu David Aflalo, Amir Sagi, Thomas Hanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The ongoing research on biomaterials that support bone regeneration led to the quest for materials or material modifications that can actively influence the activity or balance of bone tissue cells. The bone biocompatibility of porous chitosan scaffolds was modified in the present study by the addition of calcium phosphates or hemocyanin. The first strategy comprised the incorporation of calcium phosphates into chitosan to create a biomimetic chitosan—mineral phase composite. The second strategy comprised dip-coating of chitosan scaffolds with hemocyanin extracted from crayfish hemolymph. The cytocompatibility was assessed in a mono-culture of human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) and their differentiation to osteoblasts; in a mono-culture of human monocytes (hMs) and their maturation to osteoclasts; and in a co-culture of hBMSC/osteoblasts—hM/osteoclasts. Mineral incorporation caused an increase in scaffold bioactivity, as shown by reduced calcium concentration in the cell culture medium, delayed differentiation of hBMSCs, and reduced osteoclastic maturation of hMs in mono-culture. Dip-coating with hemocyanin led to increased proliferation of hBMSCs and equivalent osteoclast maturation in mono-culture, while in co-culture, both an inhibitory effect of mineral incorporation on osteoblastogenesis and stimulatory effects of hemocyanin were observed. It was concluded that highly bioactive scaffolds (containing mineral phases) restrain osteoblast and osteoclast development, while hemocyanin coating significantly supports osteoblastogenesis. These influences on the osteoblasts/osteoclasts activity ratio may support scaffold-driven bone healing in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4580
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Bioactivity
  • Brushite
  • Co-culture
  • Crayfish hemocyanin
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteoclasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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