Cells and Materials


Bone formation onto poly(L-lactide), which was plasma-spray coated with various quantities of hydroxyapatite (0%, 15%, 36% and 100% coverage), was investigated in an in vitro assay. Rat bone marrow cells were grown on the different coatings and the cellular response and elaborated extracellular matrix was examined at the light and electron microscopical level after 1, 2 , 4 and 8 weeks of culture. Proliferation of cells into multilayers was seen on the 0% , 36% and 100% , but not on the 15 % coatings. Coinciding with this was the sparse formation of extracellular matrix on the latter, and its abundant appearance on the former three coatings. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy revealed a mineralized extracellular matrix on the 100% and 36% coatings after 2 and 4 weeks , respectively, and on the 15 % coating after 8 weeks. Mineralization was not observed on uncoated poly(L-lactide). At the interface between hydroxyapatite and the mineralized extracellular matrix, one or more electron dense layers were frequently observed , which showed morphological similarities with structures between these two entities in vivo. The results of this in vitro study show that, in the model used, hydroxyapatite is required to obtain the elaboration of mineralized extracellular matrix on poly(L-lactide) .