Silk fibroin (SF) can be processed into a hydrogel. SF/collagen hydrogel may be a suitable biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.
To investigate in vitro biocompatibility and osteogenic potential of encapsulated rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rat MSCs) in an injectable Thai SF/collagen hydrogel induced by oleic acid–poloxamer 188 surfactant mixture in an in vitro pilot study.
Rat MSCs were encapsulated in 3 groups of hydrogel scaffolds (SF, SF with 0.05% collagen [SF/0.05C], and SF with 0.1% collagen [SF/0.1C]) and cultured in a growth medium and an osteogenic induction medium. DNA, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and calcium were assayed at periodically for up to 5 weeks. After 6 weeks of culture the cells were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy.
Although SF hydrogel with collagen seems to have less efficiency to encapsulate rat MSCs, their plateau phase growth in all hydrogels was comparable. Inability to maintain cell viability as cell populations declined over 1–5 days was observed. Cell numbers then plateaued and were maintained until day 14 of culture. ALP activity and calcium content of rat MSCs in SF/collagen hydrogels were highest at day 21. An enhancing effect of collagen combined with the hydrogel was observed for proliferation and matrix formation; however, benefits of the combination on osteogenic differentiation and biomineralization are as yet unclear.
Rat MSCs in SF and SF/collagen hydrogels showed osteogenic differentiation. Accordingly, these hydrogels may serve as promising scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.