Biomaterials Translational ›› 2021, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (4): 312-322.doi: 10.12336/biomatertransl.2021.04.007

• RESEARCH ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Focal adhesion regulates osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts

Yang Zhao, Qing Sun, Bo Huo*()   

  1. Biomechanics Lab, Department of Mechanics, School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China
  • Received:2021-09-30 Revised:2021-11-29 Accepted:2021-12-10 Online:2021-12-28 Published:2021-12-28
  • Contact: Bo Huo E-mail:huobo@bit.edu.cn
  • About author:Bo Huo, huobo@bit.edu.cn.


Focal adhesions are large macromolecular assemblies through which cells are connected with the extracellular matrix so that extracellular signals can be transmitted inside cells. Some studies have focused on the effect of cell shape on the differentiation of stem cells, but little attention has been paid to focal adhesion. In the present study, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells were seeded onto micropatterned substrates on which circular adhesive islands with different spacing and area were created for focal adhesion. Results showed that the patterns of focal adhesion changed cell morphology but did not affect cell survival. For MSCs cultured for 3 days, patterns with small circles and large spacing promoted osteogenesis. For MSCs cultured for 7 days, patterns with large circles and spacing enhanced osteogenesis. For MC3T3-E1 cells, the patterns of focal adhesion had no effect on cell differentiation after 3 days of culture, but patterns with small circles and spacing improved osteogenic differentiation after 7 days. Moreover, the assembly of F-actin, phosphorylation of myosin, and nuclear translocation of yes-associated proteins (YAP) were consistent with the expression of differentiation markers, indicating that the pattern of focal adhesion may affect the osteogenesis of MSCs and osteoblasts through changes in cytoskeletal tension and nuclear localisation of YAP.

Key words: F-actin, focal adhesion, micropattern, osteogenesis, YAP