Effect of hydrogel porosity on marrow stromal cell phenotypic expression

Mahrokh Dadsetan, Theresa E. Hefferan, Jan P. Szatkowski, Prasanna K. Mishra, Slobodan I. Macura, Lichun Lu, Michael J. Yaszemski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


This study describes investigation of porous photocrosslinked oligo[(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogels as potential matrix for osteoblastic differentiation of marrow stromal cells (MSCs). The porosity and interconnectivity of porous hydrogels were assessed using magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) as a noninvasive investigative tool that could image the water construct inside the hydrogels at a high-spatial resolution. MSCs were cultured onto the porous hydrogels and cell number was assessed using PicoGreen DNA assay. Our results showed 10% of cells initially attached to the surface of scaffolds. However, cells did not show significant proliferation over a time period of 14 days. MSCs cultured on porous hydrogels had increased alkaline phosphatase activity as well as deposition of calcium, suggesting successful differentiation and maturation to the osteoblastic phenotype. Moreover, continued expression of type I collagen and osteonectin over 14 days confirmed osteoblastic differentiation of MSCs. MRM was also applied to monitor osteogenesis of MSCs on porous hydrogels. MRM images showed porous scaffolds became consolidated with osteogenic progression of cell differentiation. These findings indicate that porous OPF scaffolds enhanced MSC differentiation leading to development of bone-like mineralized tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2193-2202
Number of pages10
Issue number14
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Hydrogel
  • Magnetic resonance microscopy
  • Marrow stromal cells
  • Oligo[(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF)
  • Osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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