Human mesenchymal cells seeded on scaffold contribute to bone formation in nude rat. We have recently described a population of mesenchymal cells derived from the perivascular tissue of the umbilical cord, demonstrated that such cells show self renewal and multilineage differentiation potential at the single cell clonal level and that they can contribute to the healing of both bone and cartilage in a marrow ablation model in an immunocompromised mouse. We have employed the same cells, seeded them on the scaffolds described herein, and grown them ex vivo for several days before implanting the cell/scaffold constructs in femoral osteotomies in nude rats. Briefly, the cells were expanded in culture to third passage and transferred, at 1 × 10E6 cells in 1,000 μl phosphate buffered saline, into a 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube containing a scaffold, and centrifuged at 30G and 4°C for five one-minute intervals with mixing between intervals to re-suspend the cell population. The cell/scaffold constructs were cultured for 5 days prior to transplantation. illustrates this approach which has been described in more detail elsewhere, and has specifically demonstrated that the scaffold can be employed as a delivery vehicle for osteogenic cells, and contribute to bone healing in osteotomies. In other work (not shown) we have also been able to demonstrate that this three-phase scaffold can be used as a delivery vehicle for biologically active molecules. Since the scaffold is processed completely at or below, ambient temperature, each of the three phases present a putative delivery opportunity with the calcium phosphate coating acting as a barrier to the burst release of drug from either the polymeric or CaP particulate phases.
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