Platelet-derived growth factor and spatiotemporal cues induce development of vascularized bone tissue by adipose-derived stem cells

Daphne L. Hutton, Erika M. Moore, Jeffrey M. Gimble, Warren L. Grayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Vasculature is essential to the functional integration of a tissue-engineered bone graft to enable sufficient nutrient delivery and viability after implantation. Native bone and vasculature develop through intimately coupled, tightly regulated spatiotemporal cell-cell signaling. The complexity of these developmental processes has been a challenge for tissue engineers to recapitulate, resulting in poor codevelopment of both bone and vasculature within a unified graft. To address this, we cultured adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs), a clinically relevant, single cell source that has been previously investigated for its ability to give rise to vascularized bone grafts, and studied the effects of initial spatial organization of cells, the temporal addition of growth factors, and the presence of exogenous platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) on the codevelopment of bone and vascular tissue structures. Human ASCs were aggregated into multicellular spheroids via the hanging drop method before encapsulation and subsequent outgrowth in fibrin gels. Cellular aggregation substantially increased vascular network density, interconnectivity, and pericyte coverage compared to monodispersed cultures. To form robust vessel networks, it was essential to culture ASCs in a purely vasculogenic medium for at least 8 days before the addition of osteogenic cues. Physiologically relevant concentrations of exogenous PDGF-BB (20 ng/mL) substantially enhanced both vascular network stability and osteogenic differentiation. Comparisons with the bone morphogenetic protein-2, another pro-osteogenic and proangiogenic growth factor, indicated that this potential to couple the formation of both lineages might be unique to PDGF-BB. Furthermore, the resulting tissue structure demonstrated the close association of mineral deposits with pre-existing vascular structures that have been described for developing tissues. This combination of a single cell source with a potent induction factor used at physiological concentrations can provide a clinically relevant approach to engineering highly vascularized bone grafts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2076-2086
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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