A biomimetic mineralizing cell-culture medium

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A cell culture medium to control mineralization of extracellular matrix (hydrogels) in 2D and 3D cell cultures in regeneration studies. It allows the organic scaffold or matrix to mineralize over a set period of time in the presence of cells resulting in a structure that is similar to natural mineralized tissue.

Executive Summary:
Problem: Bones consist of a mineralized organic matrix of collagen and other proteins and an inorganic matrix of hydroxyapatite crystals providing a 3 dimensional scaffold. Bone mineralization is a well-regulated process whereby calcium and phosphorus are deposited by bone cells onto this matrix. Current strategies to engineer bone rely on the use of simple synthetic ceramic materials or soft hydrogel scaffolds, or combinations thereof in the form of composite materials; but both grossly fail to replicate the highly intricate structure, composition and mechanics of native bone. To date, no strategy has been able to replicate such a complex 3D cell-laden and mineralized micro-environment.

Solution: An optimized system in which cells are cultured in a Ca and P rich solution. Mineralization is controlled by a key polymeric agent to prevent uncontrolled crystallization of CaP mineral phases, cell death, and allows for different scaffold materials to be crystallized on demand (in the presence of cells), hence replicating the complex mineralization profile of bone in situ.

Technology Status: Available for licensing as a research reagent.

 Inventor: Luiz E. Bertassoni, DDS, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Restorative Dentistry, Division of Biomaterials and Biomechanics, School of Dentistry. His research studies the use micro-scale technologies and bioprinting for tissue engineering; nanoscale structural and mechanical properties of mineralized tissues; and different aspects of the emerging field of ‘organs-on-a-chip’.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Trina Voss
Technology Development Manager
Oregon Health & Science University
Luiz Bertassoni
Biological Materials
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