Stem cell-based tissue engineering shows promise for bone regeneration and requires artificial microenvironments to enhance the survival, proliferation and differentiation of the seeded cells. Silk fibroin, as a natural protein polymer, has unique properties for tissue regeneration. The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of porous silk scaffolds on rat bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) by ... read morelenti-GFP tracking both in vitro and in vivo in cranial bone defects. The number of cells seeded within silk scaffolds in rat cranial bone defects increased from 2 days to 2 weeks after implantation, followed by a decrease at eight weeks. Importantly, the implanted cells survived for 8 weeks in vivo and some of the cells might differentiate into endothelial cells and osteoblasts induced by the presence of VEGF and BMP-2 in the scaffolds to promote angiogenesis and osteogenesis. The results demonstrate that porous silk scaffolds provide a suitable niche to maintain long survival and function of the implanted cells for bone regeneration.read less
Zhang W, Zhu C, Ye D, Xu L, Zhang X, Wu Q, et al. (2014) Porous Silk Scaffolds for Delivery of Growth Factors and Stem Cells to Enhance Bone Regeneration. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102371. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102371.