Osteoblast culture on bioerodible polymers: studies of initial cell adhesion and spread

Cato T. Laurencin, Carol D. Morris, Henri Pierre‐Jacques, Edith R. Schwartz, Altorous R. Keaton, Ligan Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The development of systems for the growth of osteoblasts on bioerodible polymeric matrices was explored. Three classes of bioerodible polymers were studied as possible matrix supports for osteoblast growth: the poly(anhydrides), poly(phosphazenes) and poly(lactic acid/glycolic acid) copolymers. Neonatal calvarial cells from Sprague–Dawley rats were seeded onto polymer disks at a density of 1 × 104 cells/cm2. Initial attachment and spreading, rate of growth and morphology were determined, and retention of osteoblast‐like phenotype was assessed through measurements of alkaline phosphatase activity in the presence and absence of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3. All results were considered relative to tissue culture polystyrene. Cells were found to attach to all polymers at 8 hr post‐seeding. By 24 hr, cell numbers on all polymers were found to be decreased, except for poly(lactic acid/glycolic acid). Rat calvarial osteoblasts seeded on poly‐(lactic acid/glycolic acid) reached confluency and retained their phenotype. Successful construction of viable osteoblast–bioerodible polymer composite materials, as presented in our study, may find their usefulness as grafts for atrophic non‐unions of bone, for healing craniofacial and other defects and for use as prosthetic implants or coatings. Composite systems of osteoblast cultures may also find their usefulness in furthering our understanding of bone differentiation, maturation and metabolism in a matrix environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioerodible
  • In vitro
  • Interaction
  • Osteoblast
  • Polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics


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