Adipose-derived Stem/Stromal Cells on Electrospun Fibrin Microfiber Bundles Enable Moderate Muscle Reconstruction in a Volumetric Muscle Loss Model

Jordana Gilbert-Honick, Brian Ginn, Yuanfan Zhang, Sara Salehi, Kathryn R. Wagner, Hai Quan Mao, Warren L. Grayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Current treatment options for volumetric muscle loss (VML) are limited due to donor site morbidity, lack of donor tissue, and insufficient functional recovery. Tissue-engineered skeletal muscle grafts offer the potential to significantly improve functional outcomes. In this study, we assessed the potential pro-myogenic effects of human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) seeded onto electrospun uniaxially aligned fibrin hydrogel microfiber bundles. Although both uninduced and 5-azacytidine-induced ASCs exhibited alignment, elongation, and diffuse muscle marker expression when grown on microfiber bundles for 2 months in vitro, both groups failed to fully recapitulate myotube characteristics. To assess the muscle regeneration potential of ASCs in vivo, ASC-seeded fibrin microfiber bundles were implanted in a robust murine VML defect model. Minimal fibrosis was observed surrounding implanted acellular hydrogel fibers at 2 and 4 weeks, and fibers seeded with ASCs exhibited up to 4 times higher volume retention than acellular fibers. We observed increased numbers of cells positive for the regenerating muscle marker embryonic myosin and the mature muscle marker myosin heavy chain in ASC-seeded fibers compared with acellular fibers at 1 and 3 months post-transplantation. Regenerating muscle cells were closely associated with ASC-derived cells and in some cases had potentially fused with them. These findings demonstrate that despite failing to undergo myogenesis in vitro, ASCs combined with electrospun fibrin microfibers moderately increased muscle reconstruction in vivo compared with acellular fibers following a severe VML defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1644-1656
Number of pages13
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • adipose-derived stem cell
  • electrospinning
  • fibrin
  • skeletal muscle
  • tissue engineering
  • volumetric muscle loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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