Peptide-modified methacrylated glycol chitosan hydrogels as a cell-viability supporting pro-angiogenic cell delivery platform for human adipose-derived stem/stromal cells
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Cell-based therapies involving the injection of adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) within rationally designed biomaterials are a promising approach for stimulating angiogenesis. With this focus, the current work explored the effects of incorporating integrin-binding RGD or IKVAV peptides within in situ-gelling N-methacrylate glycol chitosan (MGC) hydrogels on the response of encapsulated human ASCs. Initial studies focused on hydrogel characterization to validate that the MGC, MGC-RGD, and MGC-IKVAV hydrogels had similar biomechanical properties. ASC viability following encapsulation and culture under 2% O2 was significantly impaired in the MGC-IKVAV group relative to the MGC and MGC-RGD groups. In contrast, sustained viability, along with enhanced cell spreading and metabolic activity were observed in the MGC-RGD group. Investigation of angiogenic transcription suggested that the incorporation of the peptide groups did not substantially alter the pro-angiogenic gene expression profile of the encapsulated ASCs after 7 days of culture under 2% O2. Consistent with the in vitro findings, preliminary in vivo characterization following subcutaneous implantation into NOD/SCID mice showed that ASC retention was enhanced in the MGC-RGD hydrogels relative to the MGC-IKVAV group at 14 days. Further, the encapsulated ASCs in the MGC and MGC-RGD groups promoted murine CD31(+) endothelial cell recruitment to the peri-implant region. Overall, the results indicate that the MGC-RGD and MGC hydrogels are promising platforms for ASC delivery, and suggest that strategies that support long-term ASC viability can augment in vivo angiogenesis through paracrine mechanisms. (c) 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 107A: 571-585, 2019.