Three-dimensional hydrogel model using adipose-derived stem cells for vocal fold augmentation

Hyoungshin Park, Sandeep Karajanagi, Kathryn Wolak, Jon Aanestad, Laurence Daheron, James B Kobler, Gerardo Lopez-Guerra, James T Heaton, Robert S Langer, Steven M Zeitels
Tissue Engineering. Part A 2010, 16 (2): 535-43
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) may provide a clinical option for rebuilding damaged superficial lamina propria of the vocal fold. We investigated the effects of five hydrogels (hyaluronic acid [HA], collagen, fibrin, and cogels of fibrin-collagen and fibrin-HA) on the differentiation of ASCs, with the long-term goal of establishing the conditions necessary for controlling the differentiation of ASC into the functional equivalent of superficial lamina propria fibroblasts. Human ASCs were isolated and characterized by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and real-time polymerase chain reaction. According to fluorescence-activated cell sorting and gene analysis, over 90% of isolated ASCs expressed adult stem cell surface markers and expressed adult stem cell genes. Scaffold-specific gene expression and morphology were assessed by culturing the ASCs in three-dimensional hydrogels. Twofold higher amounts of total DNA were detected in fibrin and cogel cultures than in collagen and HA cultures. Elastin expression was significantly higher in cells grown in fibrin-based gels than in cells grown in other gels. Cells grown in the cogels showed elongated morphology, expressed decorin marker, and exhibited glycosaminoglycan synthesis, which indicate ASC differentiation. Our data suggest that it may be possible to control the differentiation of ASCs using scaffolds appropriate for vocal fold tissue engineering applications. In particular, cogels of HA or collagen with fibrin enhanced proliferation, differentiation, and elastin expression.

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