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Hydroxyapatite bioactivated bacterial cellulose promotes osteoblast growth and the formation of bone nodules

Neftaha Tazi13, Ze Zhang2, Younès Messaddeq3, Luciana Almeida-Lopes4, Lisinéia M Zanardi4, Dennis Levinson5 and Mahmoud Rouabhia1*

Author Affiliations

1 Groupe de Recherche en Écologie Buccale, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université Laval, 2420, rue de la Terrasse, Québec, QC, G1V 0A6 Québec, Canada

2 Département de chirurgie, Faculté de médecine, Université Laval, Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise, CHUQ, Québec, QC, Canada

3 Département de physique, génie physique et d'optique, Faculté de Sciences et génie, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada

4 DMC Equipamentos, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil

5 Department of medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

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AMB Express 2012, 2:61  doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-61

Published: 22 November 2012


The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility of bacterial cellulose (BC) scaffold to support osteoblast growth and bone formation. BC was produced by culturing Acetobacter xylinum supplemented with hydroxyapatite (HA) to form BC membranes (without HA) and BC/HA membranes. Membranes were subjected to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis to determine surface element composition. The membranes were further used to evaluate osteoblast growth, alkaline phosphatase activity and bone nodule formation. BC was free of calcium and phosphate. However, XPS analysis revealed the presence of both calcium (10%) and phosphate (10%) at the surface of the BC/HA membrane. Osteoblast culture showed that BC alone was non-toxic and could sustain osteoblast adhesion. Furthermore, osteoblast adhesion and growth were significantly (p ≤0.05) increased on BC/HA membranes as compared to BC alone. Both BC and BC/HA membranes improved osteoconductivity, as confirmed by the level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity that increased from 2.5 mM with BC alone to 5.3 mM with BC/HA. BC/HA membranes also showed greater nodule formation and mineralization than the BC membrane alone. This was confirmed by Alizarin red staining (ARS) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). This work demonstrates that both BC and BC/HA may be useful in bone tissue engineering.

Acetobacter xylinum; Hydroxyapatite; Osteoblasts; Tissue regeneration; Cellulose