Differentiation of progenitors in a controlled environment improves the repair of critical-sized calvarial bone defects; however, integrating micro RNA (miRNA) therapy with 3D printed scaffolds still remains a challenge for craniofacial reconstruction. In this study, we aimed to engineer three-dimensional (3D) printed hybrid scaffolds as a new ex situ miR-148b expressing delivery system for osteogenic induction of rat bone marrow stem cells (rBMSCs) in vitro, and also in vivo in critical-sized rat calvarial defects. miR-148b-transfected rBMSCs underwent early differentiation in collagen-infilled 3D printed hybrid scaffolds, expressing significant levels of osteogenic markers compared to non-transfected rBMSCs, as confirmed by gene expression and immunohistochemical staining. Furthermore, after eight weeks of implantation, micro-computed tomography, histology and immunohistochemical staining results indicated that scaffolds loaded with miR-148b-transfected rBMSCs improved bone regeneration considerably compared to the scaffolds loaded with non-transfected rBMSCs and facilitated near-complete repair of critical-sized calvarial defects. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that collagen-infilled 3D printed scaffolds serve as an effective system for miRNA transfected progenitor cells, which has a promising potential for stimulating osteogenesis and calvarial bone repair.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering