The development and the optimization of novel culture systems of mesenchymal osteoprogenitors are some of the most important challenges in the field of bone tissue engineering (TE). A new combination between cells and extracellular matrix (ECM)-scaffold, containing ECM has here been analyzed. As source for osteoprogenitors, mesenchymal stem cells obtained from human umbilical cord Wharton's Jelly (hWJMSCs), were used. As ECM-scaffold, a powder form of isolated and purified porcine urinary bladder matrix (pUBM), was employed. The goals of the current work were: (1) the characterization of the in vitro hWJMSCs behavior, in terms of viability, proliferation, and adhesion to ECM-scaffold; (2) the effectiveness of ECM-scaffold to induce/modulate the osteoblastic differentiation; and (3) the proposal for a possible application of cells/ECM-scaffold construct to the field of cell/TE. In this respect, the properties of the pUBM-scaffold in promoting and guiding the in vitro adhesion, proliferation, and three-dimensional colonization of hWJMSCs, without altering viability and morphological characteristics of the cells, are here described. Finally, we have also demonstrated that pUBM-scaffolds positively affect the expression of typical osteoblastic markers in hWJMSCs. J. Cell. Physiol. 227: 857–866, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.