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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1651376, 12 pages
Research Article

Raman Spectroscopic Analyses of Jaw Periosteal Cell Mineralization

1Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Department of Cell and Tissue Engineering, Nobelstr. 12, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2Department of Women’s Health, Research Institute for Women’s Health, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Silcherstr. 7/1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
4Department of Medicine/Cardiology, Cardiovascular Research Laboratories, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 675 Charles E. Young Drive South, MRL 3645, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Dorothea Alexander

Received 14 July 2016; Revised 11 November 2016; Accepted 18 December 2016; Published 23 January 2017

Academic Editor: Heinrich Sauer

Copyright © 2017 Eva Brauchle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To achieve safer patient treatments, serum-free cell culture conditions have to be established for cell therapies. In previous studies, we demonstrated that serum-free culture favored the proliferation of MSCA-1+ osteoprogenitors derived from the jaw periosteum. In this study, the in vitro formation of bone-specific matrix by MSCA-1+ jaw periosteal cells (JPCs, 3 donors) was assessed and compared under serum-free and serum-containing media conditions using the marker-free Raman spectroscopy. Based on a standard fluorescence assay, JPCs from one patient were not able to mineralize under serum-containing culture conditions, whereas the other cells showed similar mineralization levels under both conditions. Raman spectra from mineralizing MSCA-1+ JPCs revealed higher levels of hydroxyapatite formation and higher mineral to matrix ratios under serum-free culture conditions. Higher carbonate to phosphate ratios and higher crystallinity in JPCs cultured under serum-containing conditions indicated immature bone formation. Due to reduced collagen production under serum-free conditions, we obtained significant differences in collagen maturity and proline to hydroxyproline ratios compared to serum-free conditions. We conclude that Raman spectroscopy is a useful tool for the assessment and noninvasive monitoring of in vitro mineralization of osteoprogenitor cells. Further studies should extend this knowledge and improve JPC mineralization by optimizing culture conditions.