Development of Delivery Strategy for Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in the Treatment of Myocardial Infarction
Lee, Justin J.
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Cell-based therapies involving adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) have shown promise in stimulating cardiovascular regeneration, including in the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemic heart disease. However, previous studies involving the delivery of ASCs following MI have indicated that therapeutic efficacy has been limited by low survival and/or poor retention of the transplanted cells at the site of injury. To address these limitations, the goal of this thesis was to develop a more effective delivery strategy incorporating an injectable biomaterial combined with chemotactic growth factor delivery to enhance ASC retention within the gel. Working towards future in vivo analysis in a rat model, multilineage characterization studies confirmed that ASCs isolated from the epididymal fat pad of male Wistar rats could differentiate in vitro along the adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages. Subsequently, the chemotactic response of the rat ASCs (rASCs) to varying concentrations of stromal derived factor-1 α (SDF-1α) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was analyzed using a modified Boyden chamber assay. The results demonstrated that SDF-1α and HGF, at 20, 50, and 100 ng/mL elicited significant migratory responses under normoxic (21%) and hypoxic (5%) culture conditions. RT-PCR analysis was conducted to assess the expression of the two chemotactic growth factors and their associated receptors in the rASCs, and secreted SDF-1α protein expression was quantified by ELISA. Moving towards the development of the biomaterials-based delivery approach, the viability of rASCs encapsulated by photopolymerization in methacrylated glycol chitosan (MGC) hydrogels modified with various degrees of arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD)-peptide modification was examined. More specifically, rASCs were encapsulated in MGC hydrogels with 0%, 4%, and 7% RGD modification and cultured for up to 14 days. Viability staining results indicated that rASC viability was enhanced in the 4% and 7% RGD-modified MGC hydrogels in comparison to the MGC hydrogels with no peptide modification. Pre-loading the gels with 50 ng/mL of SDF-1α had no significant effects on cell viability over 14 days. Overall, the results demonstrate that peptide modification to promote cell adhesion within the MGC hydrogels is key to improving cell viability and thereby improving the therapeutic potential of ASCs.