Three-dimensional porous scaffolds offer some advantages over conventional treatments for bone tissue engineering. Amongst all non-bioresorbable scaffolds, biocompatible metallic scaffolds are preferred over ceramic and polymeric scaffolds, as they can be used as electrodes with different electric field intensities (or voltages) for electric stimulation (ES). In the present work we have used a palladium-coated polymeric scaffold, generated by electroless deposition, as a bipolar electrode to electrically stimulate human osteoblast-like Saos-2 cells. Cells grown on palladium-coated polyurethane foams under ES presented higher proliferation than cells grown on foams without ES for up to 14 days. In addition, cells grown in both conditions were well adhered, with a flat appearance and a typical actin cytoskeleton distribution. However, after 28 days in culture, cells without ES were filling the entire structure, while cells under ES appeared rounded and not well adhered, a sign of cell death onset. Regarding osteoblast differentiation, ES seems to enhance the expression of early expressed genes. The results suggest that palladium-coated polyurethane foams may be good candidates for osteoblast scaffolds and demonstrate that ES enhances osteoblast proliferation up to 14 days and upregulate expression genes related to extracellular matrix formation.
- Electrical stimulation
- Gene expression
- Pd-coated polyurethane scaffold