The physiological spaces (lateral ventricles, intrathecal space) or pathological cavities (stroke lesion, syringomyelia) may serve as an attractive gateway for minimally invasive deployment of stem cells. Embedding stem cells in injectable scaffolds is essential when transplanting into the body cavities as they secure favorable microenvironment and keep cells localized, thereby preventing sedimentation. However, the limited migration of transplanted cells from scaffold to the host tissue is still a major obstacle, which prevents this approach from wider implementation for the rapidly growing field of regenerative medicine. Hyaluronan, a naturally occurring polymer, is frequently used as a basis of injectable scaffolds. We hypothesized that supplementation of hyaluronan with activated proteolytic enzymes could be a viable approach for dissolving the connective tissue barrier on the interface between the scaffold and the host, such as pia mater or scar tissue, thus demarcating lesion cavity. In a proof-of-concept study, we have found that collagenase and trypsin immobilized in hyaluronan-based hydrogel retain 60% and 28% of their proteolytic activity compared to their non-immobilized forms, respectively. We have also shown that immobilized enzymes do not have a negative effect on the viability of stem cells (glial progenitors and mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro. In conclusion, proteolytic rafts composed of hyaluronan-based hydrogels and immobilized enzymes may be an attractive strategy to facilitate migration of stem cells from injectable scaffolds into the parenchyma of surrounding tissue.
- Cell transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry