The basic aspects of bone tissue engineering include chemical composition and geometry of the scaffold design, because it is very important to improve not only cell attachment and growth but especially osteodifferentiation, bone tissue formation, and vascularization. Geistlich Bio-Oss (GBO) is a xenograft consisting of deproteinized, sterilized bovine bone, chemically and physically identical to the mineral phase of human bone.In this study, we investigated the growth behaviour and the ability to form focal adhesions on the substrate, using vinculin, a cytoskeletal protein, as a marker. Moreover, the expression of bone specific proteins and growth factors such as type I collagen, osteopontin, bone sialoprotein, bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), BMP-7 and de novo synthesis of osteocalcin in normal human osteoblasts (NHOst) seeded on xenogenic GBO were evaluated. Our observations suggest that after four weeks of culture in differentiation medium, the NHOst showed a high affinity for the three dimensional biomaterial; in fact, cellular proliferation, migration and colonization were clearly evident. The osteogenic differentiation process, as demonstrated by morphological, histochemical, energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis and biochemical analysis was mostly obvious in the NHOst grown on three-dimensional inorganic bovine bone biomaterial. Functional studies displayed a clear and significant response to calcitonin when the cells were differentiated. In addition, the presence of the biomaterial improved the response, suggesting that it could drive the differentiation of these cells towards a more differentiated osteogenic phenotype. These results encourage us to consider GBO an adequate biocompatible three-dimensional biomaterial, indicating its potential use for the development of tissue-engineering techniques.