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A novel method for differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells into smooth muscle-like cells on clinically deliverable thermally induced phase separation microspheres.

Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods (2014-09-11)
Nina Parmar, Raheleh Ahmadi, Richard M Day
ABSTRACT

Muscle degeneration is a prevalent disease, particularly in aging societies where it has a huge impact on quality of life and incurs colossal health costs. Suitable donor sources of smooth muscle cells are limited and minimally invasive therapeutic approaches are sought that will augment muscle volume by delivering cells to damaged or degenerated areas of muscle. For the first time, we report the use of highly porous microcarriers produced using thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) to expand and differentiate adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AdMSCs) into smooth muscle-like cells in a format that requires minimal manipulation before clinical delivery. AdMSCs readily attached to the surface of TIPS microcarriers and proliferated while maintained in suspension culture for 12 days. Switching the incubation medium to a differentiation medium containing 2 ng/mL transforming growth factor beta-1 resulted in a significant increase in both the mRNA and protein expression of cell contractile apparatus components caldesmon, calponin, and myosin heavy chains, indicative of a smooth muscle cell-like phenotype. Growth of smooth muscle cells on the surface of the microcarriers caused no change to the integrity of the polymer microspheres making them suitable for a cell-delivery vehicle. Our results indicate that TIPS microspheres provide an ideal substrate for the expansion and differentiation of AdMSCs into smooth muscle-like cells as well as a microcarrier delivery vehicle for the attached cells ready for therapeutic applications.

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