A simple method for decellularizing a cell-derived matrix for bone cell cultivation and differentiation

Authored by  W Weng*, F Zanetti, D Bovard, B Braun*, S Ehnert*, T Uynuk-Ool*, T Histing*, J Hoeng, AK Nussler*, RH Aspera-Werz*

Published in Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine    
* This author is not affiliated with PMI.

The extracellular matrix regulates cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation. In vitro two-dimensional cell experiments are typically performed on a plastic plate or a substrate of a single extracellular matrix constituent such as collagen or calcium phosphate. As these approaches do not include extracellular matrix proteins or growth factors, they fail to mimic a complex cell microenvironment. The cell-derived matrix is an alternative platform for better representing the in vivo microenvironment in vitro. Standard decellularization of a cell-derived matrix is achieved by combining chemical and physical methods. In this study, we compared the decellularization efficacy of several methods: ammonium hydroxide, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), or Triton X-100 with cold or heat treatment on a matrix of Saos-2 cells. We found that the protocols containing SDS were cytotoxic during recellularization. Heat treatment at 47 °C was not cytotoxic, removed cellular constituents, inactivated alkaline phosphatase activity, and maintained the levels of calcium deposition. Subsequently, we investigated the differentiation efficiency of a direct bone coculture system in the established decellularized Saos-2 matrix, an inorganic matrix of calcium phosphate, and a plastic plate as a control. We found that the decellularized Saos-2 cell matrix obtained by heat treatment at 47 °C enhanced osteoclast differentiation and matrix mineralization better than the inorganic matrix and the control. This simple and low-cost method allows us to create a Saos-2 decellularized matrix that can be used as an in vivo-like support for the growth and differentiation of bone cells.