Mechanical Loading Promoted Discogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Incorporated in 3D-PEG Scaffolds with RhGDF5 and RGD

Guggisberg, S.; Benneker, Lorin Michael; Keel, M. J.; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2015). Mechanical Loading Promoted Discogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Incorporated in 3D-PEG Scaffolds with RhGDF5 and RGD. International Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 2(1) Science Resource Online LLC

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Hydrogels have been described as ideal scaffolds for cells of 3D tissue constructs and hold strong promises with respect to in vitro 3D-cell-culture, where cells are isolated from native extracellular matrix (ECM). Synthesized polyethyleneglycol (PEG) hydrogels are appealing with regard to potential for cell therapy or as vehicles for drug delivery or even to regenerate tissue with similar hydrogel-like properties such as the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Here, we tested whether incorporation of RGD motive would hinder discogenic differentiation of primary bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) but favor proliferation of undifferentiated hMSCs. HMSCs were embedded in +RGD containing or without RGD PEG hydrogel and pre-conditioned with or without growth and differentiation factor-5 (rhGDF-5) for 13 days. Afterwards, all hMSCs-PEG gels were subsequently cyclically loaded (15% strain, 1Hz) for 5 consecutive days in a bioreactor to generate an IVD-like phenotype. Higher metabolic activity (resazurin assay) was found in groups with rhGDF5 in both gel types with and without RGD. Cell viability and morphology measured by confocal laser microscopy and DNA content showed decreased values (~60%) after 18 days of culture. Real-time RT-PCR of an array of 15 key genes suspected to be distinctive for IVD cells revealed moderate response to rhGDF5 and mechanical loading as also shown by histology staining. Preconditioning and mechanical loading showed relatively moderate responses revealed from both RT-PCR and histology although hMSCs were demonstrated to be potent to differentiate into chondrocyte-progenitor cells in micro- mass and 3D alginate bead culture.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Benneker, Lorin Michael, Gantenbein, Benjamin


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health


Science Resource Online LLC




Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

05 May 2015 10:38

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:46




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