One of the key challenges in reconstructive bone surgery is to provide living constructs that possess the ability to integrate in the surrounding host tissue. Bone graft substitutes and biomaterials have already been widely used to heal critical-size bone defects due to trauma, tumor resection and tissue degeneration. In the present study, gelatin-based cryogels have been seeded with human SAOS-2 osteoblasts followed by the in vitro culture of the cells. In order to overcome the drawbacks associated with static culture systems, including limited diffusion and in homogeneous cell-matrix distribution, the present work describes the application of a bioreactor to physically enhance the cell culture in vitro using an electromagnetic stimulus. The results indicate that the physical stimulation of cell-seeded gelatin-based cryogels upregulates the bone matrix production. We anticipate that the scaffolds developed consisting of human bone proteins and cells could be applied for clinical purposes related to bone repair.
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