BACKGROUND: Cell-transplantation therapies have attracted attention as treatments
for skeletal-muscle disorders; however, such research has been severely limited
by poor cell survival. Tissue engineering offers a potential solution to this
problem by providing biomaterial adjuvants that improve survival and engraftment
of donor cells.
METHODS: In this study, we investigated the use of intra-muscular transplantation
of mesoangioblasts (vessel-associated progenitor cells), delivered with an
injectable hydrogel biomaterial directly into the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle
of acutely injured or dystrophic mice. The hydrogel cell carrier, made from a
polyethylene glycol-fibrinogen (PF) matrix, is polymerized in situ together with
mesoangioblasts to form a resorbable cellularized implant.
RESULTS: Mice treated with PF and mesoangioblasts showed enhanced cell
engraftment as a result of increased survival and differentiation compared with
the same cell population injected in aqueous saline solution.
CONCLUSION: Both PF and mesoangioblasts are currently undergoing separate
clinical trials: their combined use may increase chances of efficacy for
localized disorders of skeletal muscle.