Preparation and characterization of collagen-based ADSC-carrier sheets for cardiovascular application

Acta Biomater. 2013 Apr;9(4):6075-83. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.12.014. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


The use of scaffolds composed of natural biodegradable matrices represents an attractive strategy to circumvent the lack of cell engraftment, a major limitation of stem cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases. Bovine-derived non-porous collagen scaffolds with different degrees of cross-linking (C0, C2, C5 and C10) were produced and tested for their mechanical behavior, in vitro biocompatibility with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and tissue adhesion and inflammatory reaction. Uniaxial tensile tests revealed an anisotropic behavior of collagen scaffolds (2×0.5cm) and statistically significant differences in the mechanical behavior between cross-linked and non-cross-linked scaffolds (n=5). In vitro, ADSCs adhered homogenously and showed a similar degree of proliferation on all four types of scaffolds (cells×10(3)cm(-2) at day 7: C0: 94.7±37.1; C2: 91.7±25.6; C5: 88.2±6.8; C10: 72.8±10.7; P=n.s.; n=3). In order to test the in vivo biocompatibility, a chronic myocardial infarction model was performed in rats and 1.2×1.2cm size collagen scaffolds implanted onto the heart 1month post-infarction. Six animals per group were killed 2, 7 and 30days after transplant. Complete and long-lasting adhesion to the heart was only observed with the non-cross-linked scaffolds with almost total degradation 1month post-transplantation. After 7 and 30days post-implantation, the degree of inflammation was significantly lower in the hearts treated with non-cross-linked scaffolds (day 7: C0: 10.2±2.1%; C2: 16.3±2.9%; C5: 15.9±4.8%; C10: 17.4±4.1%; P<0.05 vs. C0; day 30: C0: 1.3±1.3%; C2: 9.4±3.0%; C5: 7.0±2.1%; C10: 9.8±2.5%; P<0.01 vs. C0). In view of the results, the non-cross-linked scaffold (C0) was chosen as an ADSC-carrier sheet and tested in vivo. One week post-implantation, 25.3±7.0% of the cells transplanted were detected in those animals receiving the cell-carrier sheet whereas no cells were found in animals receiving cells alone (n=3 animals/group). We conclude that the biocompatibility and mechanical properties of the non-cross-linked collagen scaffolds make them a useful cell carrier that greatly favors tissue cell engraftment and may be exploited for cell transplantation in models of cardiac disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Adipocytes / cytology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type I / chemistry*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Female
  • Materials Testing
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Collagen Type I