Conductive nanostructured Si biomaterials enhance osteogeneration through electrical stimulation

Yan Huang, Haokun Deng, Yubo Fan, Lisha Zheng, Jifei Che, Xiaoming Li, Katerina E. Aifantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


It is well known that the differentiation of stem cells is affected by the cell culture medium, the scaffold surface and electrochemical signals. However, stimulation of patterned biomaterials seeded with stem cell cultures has not been explored. Herein the effect of electrical stimulation on osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) cultured on solid and nanoporous micropyramid patterned Si surfaces was evaluated. It was found that both stimulation and scaffold patterning significantly enhanced osteo-differentiation. The stimulated nanoporous micropyramid scaffolds were more promising compared to the stimulated solid micropyramid surfaces, as they significantly promoted the osteogenic differentiation of rBMSCs via BMP/Smad signaling pathway. Particularly, as compared to the unstimulated patterned biomaterials, the stimulated patterned scaffolds allowed for a significant increase in core binding factor alpha l, alkaline phosphatase, the alpha l chain of type I Col, osteocalcin, and osteonectin, all of which are characteristic for osteo-differentiation. The proposed combination of electrical stimulation with scaffold patterning may provide novel promising strategies for bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109748
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Electrical stimulation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Nanopatterned scaffolds
  • Osteo-differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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