The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of TiO2 scaffold (SC) coated with an alginate hydrogel containing a proline-rich peptide (P2) on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in vitro. Peptide release was evaluated and a burst release was observed during the first hours of incubation, and then progressively released overtime. No changes were observed in the cytotoxicity after 48 h of seeding MC3T3-E1 cells on the coated and uncoated TiO2 SC. The amount of cells after 7 days was higher on uncoated TiO2 SC than on alginate-coated TiO2 SC, measured by DNA content and scanning electron microscope imaging. In addition, while lower expression of integrin beta1 was detected for alginate-coated TiO2 SC at this time point, similar gene expression was observed for other integrins, fibronectin-1, and several osteoblast differentiation markers. After 21 days, gene expression of integrin beta3, fibronectin-1, osterix, and collagen-I was increased in alginate-coated compared to TiO2 SC. Moreover, increased gene expression of integrin alpha8, bone morphogenetic protein 2, interleukin-6, and collagen-I was found on P2 alginate-coated TiO2 SC compared to alginate-coated TiO2 SC. In conclusion, our results indicate that alginate-coated TiO2 SC can act as a matrix for delivery of proline-rich peptides increasing osteoblast differentiation. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.