Modulation of differentiation and mineralization of marrow stromal cells cultured on biomimetic hydrogels modified with Arg-Gly-Asp containing peptides

Heungsoo Shin, Kyriacos Zygourakis, Mary C. Farach-Carson, Michael J. Yaszemski, Antonios G. Mikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


We synthesized biomimetic hydrogels modified with an osteopontin-derived peptide (ODP) and used them as a substrate for in vitro culture of marrow stromal cells (MSCs) to investigate the effect of the biomimetic surface on differentiation of MSCs into osteoblasts. Proliferation and biological assays for 16 days proved that MSCs became differentiated into osteoblasts secreting osteogenic phenotypic markers such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin, and mineralized calcium. In addition, there was an additive effect of the cell-binding peptide on differentiation and mineralization of MSCs cultured in the presence of soluble osteogenic supplements in cell culture media. For example, calcium content at day 16 on peptide-modified hydrogels was significantly higher than on tissue culture polystyrene. Two general trends were observed: (1) proliferation of MSCs decreased as the amount of differentiation markers increased, and (2) higher peptide concentrations accelerated the differentiation of MSCs. On the hydrogel modified with ODP, ALP activity exhibited a maximum value of 36.7 ± 4.2 pmol/cell/h at day 10 for the concentration of 2 μmol/g while the culture time needed for maximum ALP activity occurred on day 13 for the lower concentrations. On the same hydrogel, the calcium content at day 10 was 21.4 ± 2.3 ng/cell for the peptide concentration of 2 μmol/g and 1.0 ± 0.3 ng/cell for 1.0 μmol/g. We used Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (GRGDS) for modification of the hydrogel as a comparison to the results with ODP. However, osteoblast development was not significantly affected by the nature of the binding peptide sequences. These results suggest that MSC function can be modulated by variation of the peptide concentration in biomimetic hydrogels used for scaffold-based bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Biomimetic hydrogel
  • Differentiation
  • Marrow stromal cells
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteopontin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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