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Electrical stimulation modulates osteoblast proliferation and bone protein production through heparin-bioactivated conductive scaffolds

Authors

  • Shiyun Meng,

    1. College of Environment and Biotechnology, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing, China
    2. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Laval University, Saint-François d'Assise Hospital Research Center, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
    3. Faculty of Dentistry, Research Group on Oral Ecology, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
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  • Mahmoud Rouabhia,

    1. Faculty of Dentistry, Research Group on Oral Ecology, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
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  • Ze Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Laval University, Saint-François d'Assise Hospital Research Center, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
    • Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise, 10 rue de l'Espinay, local E0-165, Québec (QC), Canada G1L 3L5.
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Abstract

Electrical fields are known to interact with human cells. This principle has been explored to regulate cellular activities for bone tissue regeneration. In this work, Saos-2 cells were cultured on conductive scaffolds made of biodegradable poly(L-lactide) and the heparin-containing, electrically conducting polypyrrole (PPy/HE) to study their reaction to electrical stimulation (ES) mediated through such scaffolds. Both the duration and intensity of ES enhanced cell proliferation, generating a unique electrical intensity and temporal “window” within which osteoblast proliferation was upmodulated in contrast to the downmodulation or ineffectiveness in other ES regions. The favourable ES intensity (200 mV/mm) was further investigated in terms of the gene activation and protein production of two important osteoblast markers characterised by extracellular matrix maturation and mineralisation, that is alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC). Both genes were found activated and the relevant protein production increased significantly following ES. In contrast, ES in the down-modulation region (400 mV/mm) suppressed the production of both ALP and OC. This work demonstrated that important osteoblast markers can be modulated with specific ES parameters mediated through conductive polymer substrates, providing a unique strategy for bone tissue engineering. Bioelectromagnetics 34:189–199, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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