Recombinant gelatin microspheres: novel formulations for tissue repair?

Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Jun;16(6):1811-21. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0592.


Microspheres (MSs) can function as multifunctional scaffolds in different approaches of tissue repair (TR), as a filler, a slow-release depot for growth factors, or a delivery vehicle for cells. Natural cell adhesion-supporting extracellular matrix components like gelatin are good materials for these purposes. Recombinant production of gelatin allows for on-demand design of gelatins, which is why we aim at developing recombinant gelatin (RG) MSs for TR. Two types of MSs (50 < Ø < 100 microm) were prepared by crosslinking two RGs, Syn-RG, and the arginine-glycine-aspartate-containing Hu-RG. The MSs were characterized, and their tissue reaction and degradation in rats was examined. Histological analysis of the explants after 14 and 28 days in vivo also showed that Syn-RG was degraded slower than Hu-RG, which correlated with the in vitro degradation assay. Hu-RG explants displayed more cellular ingrowth (60% vs. 15% for Syn-RG at day 14), which was associated with extracellular matrix deposition and vascularization. The infiltrating cells consisted of mainly macrophages, part of which fused to giant cells locally, and fibroblasts. No differences were found in matrix metalloproteinase mRNA levels, whereas gelatinase activity was clearly higher in Hu-RG explants. In conclusion, the in vitro and in vivo results of these novel formulations pave the way for cell- and/or factor-driven TR by these RG MSs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gelatin / chemistry*
  • Gelatin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microspheres*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Skin / cytology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Gelatin