Novel Vanadium-Loaded Ordered Collagen Scaffold Promotes Osteochondral Differentiation of Bone Marrow Progenitor Cells
Bone and cartilage regeneration can be improved by designing a functionalized biomaterial that includes bioactive drugs in a biocompatible and biodegradable scaffold. Based on our previous studies, we designed a vanadium-loaded collagen scaffold for osteochondral tissue engineering. Collagen-vanadium loaded scaffolds were characterized by SEM, FTIR, and permeability studies. Rat bone marrow progenitor cells were plated on collagen or vanadium-loaded membranes to evaluate differences in cell attachment, growth and osteogenic or chondrocytic differentiation. The potential cytotoxicity of the scaffolds was assessed by the MTT assay and by evaluation of morphological changes in cultured RAW 264.7 macrophages. Our results show that loading of VOAsc did not alter the grooved ordered structure of the collagen membrane although it increased membrane permeability, suggesting a more open structure. The VOAsc was released to the media, suggesting diffusion-controlled drug release. Vanadium-loaded membranes proved to be a better substratum than for all evaluated aspects of BMPC biocompatibility (adhesion, growth, and osteoblastic and chondrocytic differentiation). In addition, there was no detectable effect of collagen or vanadium-loaded scaffolds on macrophage viability or cytotoxicity. Based on these findings, we have developed a new ordered collagen scaffold loaded with VOAsc that shows potential for osteochondral tissue engineering.