In-vivo evaluation of subcutaneously implanted cell-loaded apatite microcarriers for osteogenic potency

Poon Nian Lim, Jason Feng, Zuyong Wang, Mark Chong, Toshiisa Konishi, Lay Geok Tan, Jerry Chan, Eng San Thian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Cell-loaded apatite microcarriers present as potential scaffolds for direct in-vivo delivery of cells post-expansion to promote bone regeneration. The objective of this study was to evaluate the osteogenic potency of human foetal mesenchymal stem cells (hfMSC)-loaded apatite microcarriers when implanted subcutaneously in a mouse model. This was done by examining for ectopic bone formation at 2 weeks, 1 month and 2 months, which were intended to coincide with the inflammation, healing and remodelling phases, respectively. Three histological examinations including haematoxylin and eosin staining to examine general tissue morphology, Masson’s trichrome staining to identify tissue type, and Von Kossa staining to examine extent of tissue mineralisation were performed. In addition, immunohistochemistry assay of osteopontin was conducted to confirm active bone formation by the seeded hfMSCs. Results showed a high level of tissue organisation and new bone formation, with active bone remodelling being observed at the end of 2 months, and an increase in tissue density, organisation, and mineralisation could also be observed for hfMSC-loaded apatite microcarriers. Various cell morphology resembling that of osteoblasts and osteoclasts could be seen on the surfaces of the hfMSC-loaded apatite microcarriers, with presence of woven bone tissue formation being observed at the intergranular space. These observations were consistent with evidence of ectopic bone formation, which were absent in group containing apatite microcarriers only. Overall, results suggested that hfMSC-loaded apatite microcarriers retained their osteogenic potency after implantation, and provided an effective platform for bone tissue regeneration. Graphical Abstract: [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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