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Co-presence of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an in vivo engineered liver pocket-scaffold increases neo-angiogenesis and albumin production
1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 3 , * 3
1  Department of General Surgery and Odontoiatrics, Liver Transplant Unit, University Hospital of Verona, P.le Aristide Stefani 1, 37126 Verona, Italy;
2  Inflammation and Repair The University of Manchester Manchester, United Kingdom
3  University of Padova, Dpt of Biomedical Sciences, Padova, Italy


Introduction: Fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) liver tissue is limited by many factors, one of them is the lack of vascularization in the tissue-engineered constructs. To overcome these limitations, an in vivo engineered liver pocket-scaffold's ability to increase neo-angiogenesis was considered in the present study. Methods: Hyaluronan-besed scaffolds enriched with human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) and hepatocytes were implanted into rats. Angiogenesis and hepatocyte function were monitored. Results: The formation of de novo vascular networks within scaffolding matrices was noted as well as a better albumin production by the implanted hepatocytes. Conclusions: Our results emphasized that the presence in culture of hMSC increased tissue concentrations of growth factors and may promote angiogenesis resulting in a higher density of blood vessels coupled with a better metabolic support of hepatocytes.

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cell, neoangiogenesis, scaffold, liver tissue engineering
Comments on this paper
Cesar Borlongan
Stem cells and bioengineering
This study provides good evidence of interaction between stem cells and biomaterial, which when combined as a therapeutic product may improve cell function. As shown here, transplantation of hyaluronan-based scaffolds seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells and hepatocytes into rats facilitated angiogenesis and hepatocyte function. Congratulations to Dr. Barbara Zavan and her colleagues for this exciting work.