Decellularized matrix-based scaffolds can induce enhanced tissue regeneration due to their biochemical, biophysical, and mechanical similarity to native tissues. In this study, we report a nanostructured decellularized tendon scaffold with aligned, nanofibrous structures to enhance osteogenic differentiation and in vivo bone formation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs). Using a bioskiving method, we prepared decellularized tendon scaffolds from tissue slices of bovine Achilles and neck tendons with or without fixation, and investigated the effects on physical and mechanical properties of decellularized tendon scaffolds, based on the types and concentrations of crosslinking agents. In general, we found that decellularized tendon scaffolds without fixative treatments were more effective in inducing osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of hADSCs in vitro. When noncross-linked decellularized tendon scaffolds were applied together with hydroxyapatite for hADSC transplantation in critical-sized bone defects, they promoted bone-specific collagen deposition and mineralized bone formation 4 and 8 weeks after hADSC transplantation, compared to conventional collagen type I scaffolds. Interestingly, stacking of decellularized tendon scaffolds cultured with osteogenically committed hADSCs and those containing human cord blood-derived endothelial progenitor cells (hEPCs) induced vascularized bone regeneration in the defects 8 weeks after transplantation. Our study suggests that biomimetic nanostructured scaffolds made of decellularized tissue matrices can serve as functional tissue-engineering scaffolds for enhanced osteogenesis of stem cells.
nanostructured decellularized tendon scaffolds, human adipose-derived stem cells, osteogenic differentiation, bone formation, mineralization