Guo-Qiang Chen’s lab publishes results in “Advanced Materials” on new injectable scaffolds based on biomaterial Polyhydroxyalkanoate for tissue regeneration

2018-06-26 10:55:22

On June 20th 2018, Professor Guo-Qiang Chen’s lab in the School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, publishes an article entitled “A Micro-Ark for Cells: Highly Open Porous Polyhydroxyalkanoate Microspheres as Injectable Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration” in the prestigious international journal “Advanced Materials”.

To avoid large open surgery using scaffold transplants, small-sized cell carriers are employed to repair complexly shaped tissue defects. However, most cell carriers show poor cell adherences and viability. Therefore, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a natural microbial biopolymer, is used to prepare highly open porous microspheres (OPMs) of 300–360 μm in diameter, combining the advantages of microspheres and scaffolds to serve as injectable carriers harboring proliferating stem cells.

In addition to the convenient injection to a defected tissue, and in contrast to poor performances of OPMs made of polylactides (PLA OPMs) and traditional less porous hollow microspheres (PHA HMs), PHA OPMs present suitable surface pores of 10–60 μm and interconnected passages with an average size of 8.8 μm, leading to a high in vitro cell adhesion of 93.4%, continuous proliferation for 10 days and improved differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). PHA OPMs also support stronger osteoblast-regeneration compared with traditional PHA HMs, PLA OPMs, commercial hyaluronic acid hydrogels, and carrier-free hMSCs in an ectopic bone-formation mouse model. PHA OPMs protect cells against stresses during injection, allowing more living cells to proliferate and migrate to damaged tissues.

The function of PHA OPM like a Noah’s Ark in Bible for transporting of lives against disasters. Hence, they are called figuratively the micro-Noah’s Arks for cells in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Prof. Guo-Qiang Chen’s lab is affiliated to School of Life Sciences and Center for Synthetic and Systems Biology (CSSB), Tsinghua University. PhD candidates Dai-xu Wei and Jin-wei Dao are from Center of Life Sciences (CLS) and School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University, respectively, both are the co-first authors of this study. This research was financially supported by Grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China. The Center of Medical Analysis at Tsinghua University provided assistances in all microscopy studies. Mice were bred and maintained in the animal care facility at Center of Biomedical Analysis in Tsinghua University. All animal protocols used in this study have been approved by the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) of Tsinghua University and were performed in accordance with guidelines of the IACUC. The laboratory animal facility has been accredited by AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International).


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