• Study of Bone Biomineralization in 2D and 3D Cultures of a Human Osteosarcoma Cell Line As Osteoblast-like Model
  • Picone, Giovanna <1992>


  • BIO/12 Biochimica clinica e biologia molecolare e clinica


  • This PhD project focuses on the study of the early stages of bone biomineralization in 2D and 3D cultures of osteoblast-like SaOS-2 osteosarcoma cells, exposed to an osteogenic cocktail. The efficacy of osteogenic treatment was assessed on 2D cell cultures after 7 days. A large calcium minerals production, an overexpression of osteogenic markers and of alkaline phosphatase activity occurred in treated samples. TEM microscopy and cryo-XANES micro-spectroscopy were performed for localizing and characterizing Ca-depositions. These techniques revealed a different localization and chemical composition of Ca-minerals over time and after treatment. Nevertheless, the Mito stress test showed in treated samples a significant increase in maximal respiration levels associated to an upregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis indicative of an ongoing differentiation process. The 3D cell cultures were realized using two different hydrogels: a commercial collagen type I and a mixture of agarose and lactose-modified chitosan (CTL). Both biomaterials showed good biocompatibility with SaOS-2 cells. The gene expression analysis of SaOS-2 cells on collagen scaffolds indicated an osteogenic commitment after treatment. and Alizarin red staining highlighted the presence of Ca-spots in the differentiated samples. In addition, the intracellular magnesium quantification, and the X-ray microscopy on mineral depositions, suggested the incorporation of Mg during the early stages of bone formation process., SaOS-2 cells treated with osteogenic cocktail produced Ca mineral deposits also on CTL/agarose scaffolds, as confirmed by alizarin red staining. Further studies are underway to evaluate the differentiation also at the genetic level. Thanks to the combination of conventional laboratory methods and synchrotron-based techniques, it has been demonstrated that SaOS-2 is a suitable model for the study of biomineralization in vitro. These results have contributed to a deeper knowledge of biomineralization process in osteosarcoma cells and could provide new evidences about a therapeutic strategy acting on the reversibility of tumorigenicity by osteogenic induction.


  • 2022-06-24


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Picone, Giovanna (2022) Study of Bone Biomineralization in 2D and 3D Cultures of a Human Osteosarcoma Cell Line As Osteoblast-like Model, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche , 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10235.