Abstract 558: Microchanneled Polysaccharide Hydrogel Laden With Endothelial Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells With VEGF Facilitate Formation of Vascular Structures and Are Effective for Repairing Tissue Ischemia
Various hydrogels are used to create vascular structure in vitro or to improve cell engraftment to overcome low cell survival in vivo, a main hurdle for bare cell therapy Recently we developed a modified alginate hydrogel within which microchannels are aligned to guide the direction and spatial organization of loaded cells. We investigated whether these cell constructs in which HUVECs and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are co-loaded in this novel microchanneled hydrogel facilitate formation of vessels in vitro and in vivo, and enhance recovery of hindlimb ischemia.
We crafted a modified alginate hydrogel which has microchannels, incorporates a cell adhesion peptide RGD, and was encapsulated with VEGF. We then compared vascular structure formation between the HUVEC only (2 x 105 cells) group and the HUVEC plus hMSC group. In the HUVEC+hMSC group, we mixed HUVECs and hMSCs at the ratio of 3:1. For cell tracking, we labeled HUVECs with DiO, a green fluorescence dye. After loading cells into the microchannels of the hydrogel, these constructs were cultured for seven days and were examined by confocal microscopy. In the HUVEC only group, HUVECs stands as round shaped cells without forming tubular structures within the hydrogel. However, in the HUVEC+hMSC group, HUVECs were stretched out and connected with each other, and formed vessel-like structure following pre-designed microchannels. These results suggested that hMSCs play a critical role for vessel formation by HUVECs. We next determined their in vivo effects using a mouse hindlimb ischemia model. We found that engineered HUVEC+hMSC group showed significantly higher perfusion over 4 weeks compared to the engineered HUVEC only group or bare cell (HUVEC) group. Confocal microscopic analysis of harvested tissues showed more robust vessel formation within and outside of the cell constructs and longer term cell survival in HUVEC+hMSC group compared to the other groups.
In conclusion, this novel microchanneled alginate hydrogel facilitates aligned vessel formation of endothelial cells when combined with MSCs. This vessel-embedded hydrogel constructs consisting of HUVECs and MSCs contribute to perfusable vessel formation, prolong cell survival in vivo, and are effective for recovering limb ischemia.
Author Disclosures: S. Lee: None. M. Lee: None. H. Kong: None. Y. Yoon: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.