Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nasim Nosoudi (Committee Member), Jaime Ramirez-Vick (Advisor), Ulas Sunar (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME)


Alternative bone regeneration strategies that do not rely on harvested tissue or exogenous growth factors and cells are badly needed. However, creating living tissue constructs that are structurally, functionally and mechanically comparable to the natural bone has been a challenge so far. A major hurdle has been recreating the bone tissue microenvironment using the appropriate combination of cells, scaffold and stimulation to direct differentiation. This project presents a bone regeneration formulation that involves the use of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stems cells (hASCs) and a 3D scaffold based on a self-assembled peptide hydrogel doped with superparamagnetic nanoparticles (NPs). Osteogenic differentiation of hASCs is achieved through the direct stimulation by extremely-low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (pEMFs) and the indirect mechanical stimulation, through NP vibration induced by the field. This 3D construct was cultured for up to 21 days and its osteogenic capacity was assessed. Cellular morphology, proliferation, viability, as well as alkaline phosphatase activity, calcium deposition were monitored during this time. The results show that the pEMFs have no negative effect on cell viability and induce early differentiation of hASCs to an osteoblastic phenotype when compared to the cell without biophysical stimulation. This effect results from the synergy between the pEMF and NP that acts as remote stimulation of the mechanotransduction pathways which activate biochemical signals between cells to go under differentiation or proliferation. The use of this approach offers a safe and effective treatment option for the treatment of non-union bone fractures. In addition, this formulation can be directly injected into the wound site, making it minimally invasive as well.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.