Osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells promotes mineralization within a biodegradable peptide hydrogel.

Luis Alberto Castillo Diaz, Mohamed Elsawy, Julie E Gough, Alberto Saiani, Aline F Miller

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58 Scopus citations


An attractive strategy for the regeneration of tissues has been the use of extracellular matrix analogous biomaterials. Peptide-based fibrillar hydrogels have been shown to mimic the structure of extracellular matrix offering cells a niche to undertake their physiological functions. In this study, the capability of an ionic-complementary peptide FEFEFKFK (F, E, and K are phenylalanine, glutamic acid, and lysine, respectively) hydrogel to host human mesenchymal stem cells in three dimensions and induce their osteogenic differentiation is demonstrated. Assays showed sustained cell viability and proliferation throughout the hydrogel over 12 days of culture and these human mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into osteoblasts simply upon addition of osteogenic stimulation. Differentiated osteoblasts synthesized key bone proteins, including collagen-1 (Col-1), osteocalcin, and alkaline phosphatase. Moreover, mineralization occurred within the hydrogel. The peptide hydrogel is a naturally biodegradable material as shown by oscillatory rheology and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, where both viscoelastic properties and the degradation of the hydrogel were monitored over time, respectively. These findings demonstrate that a biodegradable octapeptide hydrogel can host and induce the differentiation of stem cells and has the potential for the regeneration of hard tissues such as alveolar bone.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of tissue engineering
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • Peptide hydrogel
  • bone mineralization
  • bone regeneration
  • human mesenchymal stem cells
  • osteogenic differentiation
  • tissue engineering


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