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Materials that augment bone cell proliferation and osteogenic activity have important therapeutic implications for bone regeneration and for use in skeletal reconstruction and joint replacement. We have studied the growth and interactions of human bone marrow cells on a variety of new cement composites in vitro. These cement materials are composed of calcium-deficient hydroxyapatites, carbonated apatite and amorphous calcium phosphate. Cell proliferation was significantly reduced and cell differentiation increased in the presence of these cements compared with cells cultured on tissue culture plastic. Alkaline phosphatase, one of the markers of the osteoblast phenotype, was dramatically stimulated by 3 of the 4 cements examined between day 4 and day 10, above levels observed following culture of human osteoblasts on plastic alone. Photomicroscopic examination demonstrated growth and close integration of bone marrow cells and 3 of the composites. Longer term marrow cultures (15 day) on the cements confirmed the stimulation of cell differentiation over proliferation. From these studies, enhanced osteoblastic differentiation was observed on a 70% carbonated apatite, which has a composition similar to bone mineral, whereas, cell toxicity was observed on cells grown on amorphous calcium phosphate. This in vitro culture system demonstrates the use of human bone marrow cells for the potential evaluation of new biomaterials and the development of a novel carbonated apatite that may be of potential use in orthopaedic implants.


Journal article



Publication Date





1845 - 1854


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alkaline Phosphatase, Biocompatible Materials, Bone Cements, Bone Marrow Cells, Calcium Phosphates, Cell Differentiation, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Chemical Phenomena, Chemistry, Physical, Collagen, Durapatite, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Stem Cells