International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Jun 2023)

Microstructured Polymeric Fabrics Modulating the Paracrine Activity of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

  • Federica Grilli,
  • Ennio Albanesi,
  • Beatriz Pelacho,
  • Felipe Prosper,
  • Paolo Decuzzi,
  • Daniele Di Mascolo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 24, no. 12
p. 10123


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The deposition of stem cells at sites of injury is a clinically relevant approach to facilitate tissue repair and angiogenesis. However, insufficient cell engraftment and survival require the engineering of novel scaffolds. Here, a regular network of microscopic poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) filaments was investigated as a promising biodegradable scaffold for human Adipose-Derived Stem Cell (hADSC) tissue integration. Via soft lithography, three different microstructured fabrics were realized where 5 × 5 and 5 × 3 μm PLGA ‘warp’ and ‘weft’ filaments crossed perpendicularly with pitch distances of 5, 10 and 20 μm. After hADSC seeding, cell viability, actin cytoskeleton, spatial organization and the secretome were characterized and compared to conventional substrates, including collagen layers. On the PLGA fabric, hADSC re-assembled to form spheroidal-like structures, preserving cell viability and favoring a nonlinear actin organization. Moreover, the secretion of specific factors involved in angiogenesis, the remodeling of the extracellular matrix and stem cell homing was favored on the PLGA fabric as compared to that which occurred on conventional substrates. The paracrine activity of hADSC was microstructure-dependent, with 5 μm PLGA fabric enhancing the expression of factors involved in all three processes. Although more studies are needed, the proposed PLGA fabric would represent a promising alternative to conventional collagen substrates for stem cell implantation and angiogenesis induction.