Nanomaterials modulate stem cell differentiation: biological interaction and underlying mechanisms
The aim of this study was to develop a three-dimensional porous bone graft material as vehicle for simvastatin delivery and to investigate its effect on primary human osteoblasts from three donors. Highly porous titanium dioxide (TiO2) scaffolds were submerged into simvastatin containing alginate solution. Microstructure of scaffolds, visualized by scanning electron microscopy and micro-computed tomography, revealed an evenly distributed alginate layer covering the surface of TiO2 scaffold struts. Progressive and sustained simvastatin release was observed for up to 19 days. No cytotoxic effects on osteoblasts were observed by scaffolds with simvastatin when compared to scaffolds without simvastatin. Expression of osteoblast markers (collagen type I alpha 1, alkaline phosphatase, bone morphogenetic protein 2, osteoprotegerin, vascular endothelial growth factor A and osteocalcin) was quantified using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Secretion of osteoprotegerin, vascular endothelial growth factor A and osteocalcin was analysed by multiplex immunoassay (Luminex). The relative expression and secretion of osteocalcin was significantly increased by cells cultured on scaffolds with 10 µM simvastatin when compared to scaffolds without simvastatin after 21 days. In addition, secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor A was significantly enhanced from cells cultured on scaffolds with both 10 nM and 10 µM simvastatin when compared to scaffolds without simvastatin at day 21. In conclusion, the results indicate that simvastatin-coated TiO2 scaffolds can support a sustained release of simvastatin and induce osteoblast differentiation. The combination of the physical properties of TiO2 scaffolds with the osteogenic effect of simvastatin may represent a new strategy for bone regeneration in defects where immediate load is wanted or unavailable.