Oscillatory Perfusion Culture of CaP-Based Tissue Engineering Bone with and without Dexamethasone

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Dexamethasone, a powerful osteogenic agent for osteoblast differentiation, has been suggested to have synergistic effects when applied together with perfusion culture. As ceramic scaffolds are widely used clinically and oscillatory flow well replicates the natural physical conditions, the biological effects of dexamethasone on oscillatory perfusion culture of CaP-based tissue engineering bone were investigated in this study. Mouse osteoblast-like cells, MC 3T3-E1, were seeded onto porous ceramic scaffolds using the oscillatory perfusion method. The seeded constructs were then either cultured by a static method or an oscillatory perfusion method at different flow rates continuously for 6 days with and without dexamethasone. The cell proliferation, early osteogenic effects, and viability were subsequently evaluated. The results showed that the oscillatory flow could enhance early osteogenesis of osteoblast-like cells in three-dimensional culture on ceramic scaffolds, with a peak function at the flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. The cell viability was significantly higher and more uniform in the perfusion groups than in the static culture groups. The uniformity decreased as the perfusion rates decreased. However, dexamethasone seems to have had no significant effects in any of the groups. Our results suggest that dexamethasone is not an efficient osteogenic supplement during perfusion culture on CaP ceramic scaffolds, and predifferentiation before seeding or additional osteogenic factors should be considered for such cultures.

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