To improve the safe use of allograft bone, decellularization techniques may be utilized to produce acellular scaffolds. Such scaffolds should retain their innate biological and biomechanical capacity and support mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) osteogenic differentiation. However, as allograft bone is derived from a wide age-range, this study aimed to determine whether donor age impacts on the ability an osteoinductive, acellular scaffold produced from human bone to promote the osteogenic differentiation of bone
marrow MSCs (BM-MSC). BM-MSCs from young and old donors were seeded on
acellular bone cubes from young and old donors undergoing osteoarthritis related hip surgery. All combinations resulted in increased osteogenic gene expression, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzyme activity, however BM-MSCs cultured on old donor bone displayed the largest increases. BM-MSCs cultured in old donor bone conditioned media also displayed higher osteogenic gene expression and ALP activity than those exposed to young donor bone conditioned media. ELISA and Luminex analysis of conditioned media
demonstrated similar levels of bioactive factors between age groups; however, IGF binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) concentration was significantly higher in young donor samples. Additionally, structural analysis of old donor bone indicated an increased porosity compared to young donor bone. These results demonstrate the ability of a decellularized scaffold produced from young and old donors to support osteogenic differentiation of cells from young and old donors. Significantly, the older donor bone produced greater osteogenic differentiation which may be related to reduced IGFBP1 bioavailability and increased porosity, potentially explaining the excellent clinical results seen with the use of allograft from aged donors.