Biodegradable nanofibers have become a popular candidate for tissue engineering scaffolds because of their biomimetic structure that physically resembles the extracellular matrix. For certain tissue regeneration applications, prolonged in vitro culture time for cellular reorganization and tissue remodeling may be required. Therefore, extensive understanding of cellular effects on scaffold degradation is needed. There are only few studies on the degradation of nanofibers, and also the studies on degradation throughout cell culture are rare. In this study, polyglycolide (PGA), poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly(L-lactide-co-epsilon-caprolactone) [P(LLA-CL)] were electrospun into nanofibrous meshes. The nanofibers were cultured with porcine smooth muscle cells for up to 3 months to evaluate their degradation behavior and cellular response. The results showed that the degradation rates are in the order of PGA >> PLGA > P(LLA-CL). PGA nanofibers degraded in 3 weeks and supported cell growth only in the first few days. PLGA nanofiber scaffolds facilitated cell growth during the first 30 days after seeding, but cell growth was slow thereafter. P(LLA-CL) nanofibers facilitated long-term (1-3 months) cell growth. mRNA quantification using real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that some smooth muscle cell markers (a-actinin and calponin) and extracellular matrix genes (collagen and integrin) seemed to be downregulated with increased cell culture time. Cell culture significantly increased the degradation rate of PGA nanofibers, whereas the effect on PLGA and P(LLA-CL) nanofibers was limited. We found that the molecular weight of P(LLA-CL) and PLGA nanofibers decreased linearly for up to 100 days. Half lives of PLGA and P(LLA-CL) nanofibers were shown to be 80 and 110 days, respectively. In summary, this is the first study to our knowledge to evaluate long-term polymeric nanofiber degradation in vitro with cell culture. Cell culture accelerated the nanofibrous scaffold degradation to a limited extent. P(LLA-CL) nanofibers could be a good choice as scaffolds for long-term smooth muscle cell culture.
Abstract Cell-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds have received considerable interest for tissue engineering applications. In this study, ECM scaffolds derived from mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), chondrocyte, and fibroblast were prepared by culturing cells in a selectively removable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) template. These three types of ECM scaffolds were used for in vitro cultures of MSC and fibroblasts to examine their potential as scaffolds for cartilage and skin tissue engineering. The MSC were cultured in MSC- and chondrocyte-derived ECM scaffolds. The ECM scaffolds supported cell adhesion, promoted both cell proliferation and the production of ECM and demonstrated a stronger stimulatory effect on the chondrogenesis of MSC compared with a conventional pellet culture method. Histological and immunohistochemical staining indicated that cartilage-like tissues were regenerated after the MSC were cultured in ECM scaffolds. Fibroblasts were cultured in the fibroblast-derived ECM scaffolds. Fibroblasts proliferated and produced ECM to fill the pores and spaces in the scaffold. After 2 weeks of culture, a uniform multilayered tissue was generated with homogenously distributed fibroblasts. Cell-derived ECM scaffolds have been demonstrated to facilitate tissue regeneration and will be a useful tool for tissue engineering.
Purpose To analyze the results of the use of intra-articular cultured autologous bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) injections in conjunction with microfracture and medial opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Methods Fifty-six knees in 56 patients with unicompartmental osteoarthritic knees and genu varum were randomly allocated to the cell-recipient group (n = 28) or control group (n = 28). Patients who had a joint line congruity angle of more than 2°, malalignment of the knee from femoral causes, a fixed flexion deformity, or age older than 55 years were excluded. All patients underwent HTO and microfracture. The cell-recipient group received intra-articular injection of cultured MSCs with hyaluronic acid 3 weeks after surgery, whereas the control group only received hyaluronic acid. The primary outcome measure was the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score at intervals of 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively. Secondary outcome measures were Tegner and Lysholm clinical scores and 1-year postoperative Magnetic Resonance Observation of Cartilage Repair Tissue (MOCART) scores. Results The median age of the patients was 51 years, with a mean body mass index of 23.85. Both treatment arms achieved improvements in Tegner, Lysholm, and IKDC scores. After adjustment for age, baseline scores, and time of evaluation, the cell-recipient group showed significantly better scores. The effect of treatment showed an added improvement of 7.65 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.04 to 12.26; P = .001) for IKDC scores, 7.61 (95% CI, 1.44 to 13.79; P = .016) for Lysholm scores, and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.10 to 1.19; P = .021) for Tegner scores. Magnetic resonance imaging scans performed 1 year after surgical intervention showed significantly better MOCART scores for the cell-recipient group. The age-adjusted mean difference in MOCART score was 19.6 (95% CI, 10.5 to 28.6; P < .001). Conclusions Intra-articular injection of cultured MSCs is effective in improving both short-term clinical and MOCART outcomes in patients undergoing HTO and microfracture for varus knees with cartilage defects. Level of Evidence Level II, randomized controlled trial.
The mechanical property of extracellular matrix and cell-supporting substrates is known to modulate neuronal growth, differentiation, extension and branching. Here we show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue, to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. Hippocampal neurons were cultured on polydimethylsiloxane substrates fabricated to have similar surface properties but a 10-fold difference in Young's modulus. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca2+ oscillations in cultured neuronal network monitored using time-lapse single cell imaging increased in both amplitude and frequency among neurons on stiff substrates. Consistently, synaptic connectivity recorded by paired recording was enhanced between neurons on stiff substrates. Furthermore, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity became greater and more frequent in neurons on stiff substrates. Evoked excitatory transmitter release and excitatory postsynaptic currents also were heightened at synapses between neurons on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to show that substrate stiffness is an important biophysical factor modulating synapse connectivity and transmission in cultured hippocampal neuronal network. Such information is useful in designing instructive scaffolds or supporting substrates for neural tissue engineering.
As one of the alternatives for livestock meat production, in vitro culturing of meat is currently studied. The generation of bio-artificial muscles from satellite cells has been ongoing for about 15 years, but has never been used for generation of meat, while it already is a great source of animal protein. In order to serve as a credible alternative to livestock meat, lab or factory grown meat should be efficiently produced and should mimic meat in all of its physical sensations, such as visual appearance, smell, texture and of course, taste. This is a formidable challenge even though all the technologies to create skeletal muscle and fat tissue have been developed and tested. The efficient culture of meat will primarily depend on culture conditions such as the source of medium and its composition. Protein synthesis by cultured skeletal muscle cells should further be maximized by finding the optimal combination of biochemical and physical conditions for the cells. Many of these variables are known, but their interactions are numerous and need to be mapped. This involves a systematic, if not systems, approach. Given the urgency of the problems that the meat industry is facing, this endeavor is worth undertaking. As an additional benefit, culturing meat may provide opportunities for production of novel and healthier products. ► Alternatives to livestock meat production are discussed. ► Cultured meat from satellite cells is promising. ► Efficient production and meat mimicry: essential for cultured meat acceptance. ► Technologies to culture meat are ready to be optimized.
Poly( -caprolactone) (PCL) is considered as a potential substrate for wide medical applications. In previous studies we carried out the in vitro biocompatibility assessment of PCL films using L929 mouse fibroblasts, obtaining good cell behaviour but a transitory stimulation of mitochondrial activity and cell retraction. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), mainly formed in mitochondria, can impair the function of several cellular components and produce cell oxidative stress by changing the normal red-ox status of the major cell antioxidants as glutathione. The aim of this study was to measure intracellular ROS production and glutathione content of L929 fibroblasts cultured on PCL films. Cell size, internal complexity, cell cycle and lactate dehydrogenase release were also evaluated. The films were treated with NaOH before culture to improve the cell–polymer interaction. PCL induces a transitory but significant oxidative stress in L929 fibroblasts. The treatment of PCL films with NaOH reduces this effect. PCL also induces transitory changes on cell size and complexity. Nevertheless, after 7 days in culture, cells reach control levels for all the studied parameters. Neither cell cycle nor membrane integrity appears affected by this oxidative stress respect to control cells at any culture time. These results underline the cytocompatibility of PCL films and, therefore, its potential utility as a suitable scaffold in tissue engineering.
Skin replacement has been a challenging task for surgeons ever since the introduction of skin grafts by Reverdin in 1871. Recently, skin grafting has evolved from the initial autograft and allograft preparations to biosynthetic and tissue‐engineered living skin replacements. This has been fostered by the dramatically improved survival rates of major burns where the availability of autologous normal skin for grafting has become one of the limiting factors. The ideal properties of a temporary and a permanent skin substitute have been well defined. Tissue‐engineered skin replacements: cultured autologous keratinocyte grafts, cultured allogeneic keratinocyte grafts, autologous/allogeneic composites, acellular biological matrices, and cellular matrices including such biological substances as fibrin sealant and various types of collagen, hyaluronic acid etc. have opened new horizons to deal with such massive skin loss. In extensive burns it has been shown that skin substitution with cultured grafts can be a life‐saving measure where few alternatives exist. Future research will aim to create skin substitutes with cultured epidermis that under appropriate circumstances may provide a wound cover that could be just as durable and esthetically acceptable as conventional split‐thickness skin grafts. Genetic manipulation may in addition enhance the performance of such cultured skin substitutes. If cell science, molecular biology, genetic engineering, material science and clinical expertise join their efforts to develop optimized cell culture techniques and synthetic or biological matrices then further technical advances might well lead to the production of almost skin like new tissue‐engineered human skin products resembling natural human skin.
The beneficial health‐related effects of exercise are well recognized, and numerous studies have investigated underlying mechanism using various in vivo and in vitro models. Although electrical pulse stimulation ( EPS ) for the induction of muscle contraction has been used for quite some time, its application on cultured skeletal muscle cells of animal or human origin as a model of in vitro exercise is a more recent development. In this review, we compare in vivo exercise and in vitro EPS with regard to effects on signalling, expression level and metabolism. We provide a comprehensive overview of different EPS protocols and their applications, discuss technical aspects of this model including critical controls and the importance of a proper maintenance procedure and finally discuss the limitations of the EPS model.
Abstract The reconstruction of bone defects based on cell-seeded constructs requires a functional microvasculature that meets the metabolic demands of the engineered tissue. Therefore, strategies that augment neovascularization need to be identified. We propose an in vitro strategy consisting of the simultaneous culture of osteoblasts and endothelial cells on a starch-based scaffold for the formation of pre-vascular structures, with the final aim of accelerating the establishment of a vascular bed in the implanted construct. Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) were co-cultured with human osteoblasts (hOBs) on a 3D starch-based scaffold and after 21 days of culture HDMEC aligned and organized into microcapillary-like structures. These vascular-like structures evolved from a cord-like configuration to a more complex branched morphology, had a lumen and stained in the perivascular region for type IV collagen. Genetic profiling of 84 osteogenesis-related genes was performed on co-culture vs. monoculture. Osteoblasts in co-culture showed a significant up-regulation of type I collagen and immunohistochemistry revealed that the scaffold was filled with a dense matrix stained for type I collagen. In direct contact with HDMEC hOBs secreted higher amounts of VEGF in relation to monoculture and the highest peak in the release profile correlated with the formation of microcapillary-like structures. The heterotypic communication between the two cell types was also assured by direct cell–cell contact as shown by the expression of the gap junction connexin 43. In summary, by making use of heterotypic cellular crosstalk this co-culture system is a strategy to form vascular-like structures in vitro on a 3D scaffold.