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Open Access Research article

Biocompatibility of Poly-ε-caprolactone-hydroxyapatite composite on mouse bone marrow-derived osteoblasts and endothelial cells

Haiying Yu12, Paul H Wooley12 and Shang-You Yang123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

3 Orthopaedic Research Institute, Via Christi Health System, Department of Biological Sciences, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita, KS 67260, USA

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2009, 4:5  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-4-5

Published: 26 February 2009



Tissue-engineered bone may be developed by seeding the cells capable of both osteogenesis and vascularization on biocompatible composite scaffolds. The current study investigated the performance of mice bone marrow-derived osteogenic cells and endothelial cells as seeded on hydroxyapatite (HA) and poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) composite scaffolds.


Mononuclear cells were induced to osteoblasts and endothelial cells respectively, which were defined by the expression of osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and deposits of calcium-containing crystal for osteoblasts, or by the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) and von Willebrand factor (vWF), and the formation of a capillary network in Matrigel™ for endothelial cells. Both types of cell were seeded respectively on PCL-HA scaffolds at HA to PCL weight ratio of 1:1, 1:4, or 0:1 and were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, ALP activity (of osteoblasts) and nitric oxide production (of endothelial cells) plus the assessment of cell viability.


The results indicated that HA led to a positive stimulation of osteoblasts viability and ALP activity, while HA showed less influence on endothelial cells viability. An elevated nitric oxide production of endothelial cells was observed in HA-containing group.


Supplement of HA into PCL improved biocompatible for bone marrow-derived osteoblasts and endothelial cells. The PCL-HA composite integrating with two types of cells may provide a useful system for tissue-engineered bone grafts with vascularization.