The effect of temperature on the viability of human mesenchymal stem cells

Yannis Reissis, Elena García-Gareta, Michelle Korda, Gordon W Blunn, Jia Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Impaction allograft with cement is a common technique used in revision hip surgeries for the last 20 years. However, its clinical results are inconsistent. Recent studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded onto allograft can enhance bone formation. This in vitro study investigates whether the increase in temperature related to the polymerisation of bone cement will affect the viability of human MSCs.

METHODS: The viability of human MSCs was measured after incubating them at temperatures of 38°C, 48°C and 58°C; durations 45 seconds, 80 seconds and 150 seconds. A control group was kept at 37°C and 5% carbon dioxide for the duration of the investigation (7 days). During the course of the study the human MSCs were analysed for cell metabolic activity using the alamarBlue™ assay, cell viability using both Trypan Blue dye exclusion and calcein staining under fluorescent microscopy, and necrosis and apoptosis using Annexin V and propidium iodide for flow cytometric analysis. A one-way analysis of variance with a priori Dunnett’s test was used to indicate the differences between the treatment groups, when analysed against the control. This identified conditions with a significant difference in cell metabolic activity (alamarBlue™) and cell viability (Trypan Blue).

RESULTS: Results showed that cell metabolism was not severely affected up to 48°C/150 seconds, while cells in the 58°C group died. Similar results were shown using Trypan Blue and calcein analysis for cell viability. No significant difference in apoptosis and necrosis of the cells was observed when human MSCs treated at 48°C/150 seconds were compared with the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that human MSCs seeded onto allograft can be exposed to temperatures up to 48°C for 150 seconds. Exposure to this temperature for this time period is unlikely to occur during impaction allograft surgery when cement is used. Therefore, in many situations, the addition of human MSCs to cemented impaction grafting may be carried out without detrimental effects to the cells. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that this can enhance new bone formation and repair the defects in revision situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Necrosis
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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