In vitro Characterization of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology on Biomimetic Poly-ε-caprolactone Nanofiber Scaffolding
Background: Myocardial infarction (MI) often results in permanent cardiac tissue necrosis and reduced heart functionality. Even with heart disease being the number one cause of death in the US, there are currently no effective methods of fully regenerating heart muscle post-myocardial infarction. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising therapeutic option given their multi-potent nature and low host immune reaction. Bioengineered polymeric nanofiber scaffolds provide a structured growing environment and encourage cell elongation. Overview: This study characterizes MSC biology on poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofiber scaffolds in order to establish electrospun PCL nanofibers as a working biological scaffold for MSC growth, and to exhibit potential for further exploration of PCL nanofiber-grown MSC implants as a treatment for MI. Methods: MSCs were seeded on PCL scaffolds; cell viability was analyzed via XTT, cell apoptosis was analyzed via TUNEL/DAPI staining, and differentiation markers were analyzed via RT-PCR. Results: TUNEL/DAPI staining of confluent MSCs on PCL scaffolds showed low cell apoptosis over time. RT-PCR results showed no amplification of CD40 expression. Conclusion: PCL nanofibers seem to provide a suitable microenvironment for MSC seeding and proliferation. Further Direction: RT-PCR for CD80, CD86, COL1A1 (collagen), aSMA/Acta2 (smooth muscle), Flk1/VEGF2 (endothelial), Sparc (Osteonectin, osteogenic), Adipoq (Adiponectin, adipogenic), Agre-cano (chondrogenic).