Electrospun Tropoelastin for Delivery of Therapeutic Adipose-Derived Stem Cells to Full-Thickness Dermal Wounds

Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2014 May 1;3(5):367-375. doi: 10.1089/wound.2013.0513.


Objective: To evaluate the physiological effects of electrospun tropoelastin scaffolds as therapeutic adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) delivery vehicles for the treatment of full-thickness dermal wounds. Approach: Using the process of electrospinning, several prototype microfiber scaffolds were created with tropoelastin. Initial testing of scaffold biocompatibility was performed in vitro through ADSC culture, followed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for assessment of ADSC attachment, morphology, and new extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. The wound healing effects of ADSC-seeded scaffolds were then evaluated in a murine dermal excisional wound model. Results: For the in vitro study, SEM revealed exceptional biocompatibility of electrospun tropoelastin for ADSCs. In the wound-healing study, ADSC-treated groups demonstrated significantly enhanced wound closure and epithelial thickness compared to controls. Innovation: This is the first report on the use of tropoelastin-based biomaterials as delivery vehicles for therapeutic ADSCs. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that tropoelastin-based ADSC delivery vehicles significantly accelerate wound healing compared to controls that represent the current clinical standard of care. Furthermore, the unique mechanical and biochemical characteristics of tropoelastin may favor its use over other biological or synthetic scaffolds for the treatment of certain pathologies due to its unique intrinsic mechanical properties.