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Open Access Genipin-Cross-Linked Microencapsulated Human Adipose Stem Cells Augment Transplant Retention Resulting in Attenuation of Chronically Infarcted Rat Heart Fibrosis and Cardiac Dysfunction

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Stem cell transplantation has been widely acknowledged for their immense potential in regenerative medicine. In these procedures, the implanted cells need to maintain both their viability and functional properties for effective therapeutic outcomes. This has long been a subject of major concern and intensive studies. Microencapsulation of stem cells within polymeric microcapsules can be an efficient approach to achieve this goal, particularly for heart diseases. This study reports the use of biocompatible, fluorogenic genipin-cross-linked alginate chitosan (GCAC) microcapsules in delivery of human adipose stem cells (hASCs) with an aim to increase the implant retention in the infarcted myocardium for maximum clinical benefits. In vitro results show, under hypoxic conditions, the microencapsulated cells overexpressed significantly higher amount of biologically active vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We investigated on the in vivo potential using immunocompetent female rats after induction of myocardial infarction. For this, animal groups (n = 8) received empty control microcapsules, 1.5 × 106 free male hASCs, or 1.5 × 106 microencapsulated male hASCs. Results show significant retention (3.5 times higher) of microencapsulated hASCs compared to free hASCs after 10 weeks of transplantation. Microencapsulated hASCs showed significantly attenuated infarct size compared to free hASCs and empty microcapsule group (21.6% ± 1.1% vs. 27.2% ± 3.1% vs. 33.3% ± 3.2%; p < 0.05), enhanced vasculogenesis, and improved cardiac function (fractional shortening: 24.2% ± 2.1% vs. 19.1% ± 0.5% vs. 12.0% ± 4.0%; p < 0.05). These data suggest that microencapsulated hASCs can contribute significantly to the improvement in cardiac functions. Their greater retentions exhibit reduced fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction in experimental animals. However, further research is needed to fully comprehend the underlying biological and immunological effects of microencapsulated hASCs, which jointly play important roles in cardiac repair.

Keywords: Adipose stem cell therapy; Cell transplant; Microencapsulation; Myocardial infarction; Regenerative medicine; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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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