Osteogenic potential of dualblocks cultured with human periodontal ligament stem cells:in vitroand synchrotron microtomography study

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Manescu A, Giuliani A, Mohammadi S, Tromba G, Mazzoni S, Diomede F, Zini N, Piattelli A, Trubiani O. Osteogenic potential of dualblocks cultured with human periodontal ligament stem cells: in vitro and synchrotron microtomography study. J Periodont Res 2016; 51: 112–124. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Background and Objective:

In the present study, the early stages of in vitro bone formation in collagenated porcine scaffolds cultured with human periodontal ligament cells were investigated. The comparison between the osteogenic potential of this structure in basal and differentiating culture media was explored to predict the mechanism of its biological behavior as graft in human defect. Results were validated by synchrotron radiation X-Ray phase contrast computed microtomography (micro-CT). As the periodontal disease plays a key role in systemic and oral diseases, it is crucial to find advanced therapeutic clinical interventions to repair periodontal defects. This has been recently explored using cells and tissues developed in vitro that should ideally be immunologically, functionally, structurally and mechanically identical to the native tissue.

Material and Methods:

In vitro cultures of human periodontal ligament cells, easily obtained by scraping of alveolar crestal and horizontal fibers of the periodontal ligament, were seeded on to collagenated porcine blocks constituted by natural cancellous and cortical bone. 3D images were obtained by synchrotron radiation micro-CT and processed with a phase-retrieval algorithm based on the transport of intensity equation.


Starting from the second week of culture, newly formed mineralized bone was detected in all the scaffolds, both in basal and differentiating media. Bone mineralization was proved to occur preferentially in the trabecular portion and in differentiating media.


The chosen method, supported by phase contrast micro-CT analysis, successfully and quantitatively monitored the early stages of bone formation and the rate of the bioscaffold resorption in basal and differentiating culture media.

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