Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may be used as a cell source for cell therapy of solid organs due to their differentiation potential and paracrine effect. Nevertheless, optimization of MSC-based therapy needs to develop alternative strategies to improve cell administration and efficiency. One option is the use of alginate microencapsulation, which presents an excellent biocompatibility and an in vivo stability. As MSCs are hypoimmunogenic, it was conceivable to produce microparticles with [alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate (APA) microcapsules] or without (alginate microspheres) a surrounding protective membrane. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the most suitable microparticles to encapsulate MSCs for engraftment on solid organ. First, we compared the two types of microparticles with 4 × 106 MSCs/ml of alginate. Results showed that each microparticle has distinct morphology and mechanical resistance but both remained stable over time. However, as MSCs exhibited a better viability in microspheres than in microcapsules, the study was pursued with microspheres. We demonstrated that viable MSCs were still able to produce the paracrine factor bFGF and did not present any chondrogenic or osteogenic differentiation, processes sometimes reported with the use of polymers. We then proved that microspheres could be implanted under the renal capsule without degradation with time or inducing impairment of renal function. In conclusion, these microspheres behave as an implantable scaffold whose biological and functional properties could be adapted to fit with clinical applications.
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.