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Long-Term Survival and Bipotent Terminal Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSC) in Combination With a Commercially Available Three-Dimensional Collagen Scaffold

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Researchers working in the field of tissue engineering ideally combine autologous cells and biocompatible scaffolds to replace defect tissues/organs. Due to their differentiation capacity, mesenchym-derived stem cells, such as human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC), are a promising autologous cell source for the treatment of human diseases. As natural precursors for mesenchymal tissues, hMSC are particularly suitable for bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue replacement. In this study a detailed histological and ultrastructural analysis of long-term cultured and terminally differentiated hMSC on 3D collagen scaffolds was performed. Standardized 2D differentiation protocols for hMSC into adipocytes and osteoblasts were adapted for long-term 3D in vitro cultures in porous collagen matrices. After a 50-day culture period, large numbers of mature adipocytes and osteoblasts were clearly identifiable within the scaffolds. The adipocytes exhibited membrane free lipid vacuoles. The osteoblasts were arranged in close association with hydroxyapatite crystals, which were deposited on the surrounding fibers. The collagen matrix was remodeled and adopted a contracted and curved form. Human MSC survive long-term culture within these scaffolds and could be terminally differentiated into adipocytes and osteoblasts. Thus, the combination of hMSC and this particular collagen scaffold is a possible candidate for bone and adipose tissue replacement strategies.

Keywords: Adipose tissue engineering; Autologous cells; Bone tissue engineering; Collagen; Electron microscopy; Mesenchymal stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2008

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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