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Calcium cross-linked sodium alginate hydrogels have several advantageous features making them potentially suitable as tissue engineering scaffolds and this material has been previously used in many biomedical applications. 3D cell culture systems are often very different from 2D petri dish type cultures. in this study the effect of alginate hydrogel architecture was investigated by comparing rat bone marrow cell proliferation and differentiation on calcium cross linked sodium alginate discs and 1mm internal diameter tubes. It was found that bone marrow cell proliferation was diminished as the concentration of alginate in the 2D hydrogel substrates increased, yet proliferation was extensive on tubular alginate constructs with high alginate contents. Alginate gel thickness was found to be an important parameter in determining cell behaviour and the different geometries did not generate significant alterations in BMC differentiation profiles.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine

Publication Date





515 - 519


Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building, 3640 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2B2, Canada.


Bone Marrow Cells, Cells, Cultured, Osteoblasts, Animals, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Rats, Glucuronic Acid, Hexuronic Acids, Alginates, Biocompatible Materials, Hydrogels, Materials Testing, Absorbable Implants, Cell Differentiation, Cell Proliferation, Osteogenesis, Male