The utility of stem cells and their progeny in adult transplantation models has been limited by poor survival and integration. We designed an injectable and bioresorbable hydrogel blend of hyaluronan and methylcellulose (HAMC) and tested it with two cell types in two animal models, thereby gaining an understanding of its general applicability for enhanced cell distribution, survival, integration, and functional repair relative to conventional cell delivery in saline. HAMC improves cell survival and integration of retinal stem cell (RSC)-derived rods in the retina. The pro-survival mechanism of HAMC is ascribed to the interaction of the CD44 receptor with HA. Transient disruption of the retinal outer limiting membrane, combined with HAMC delivery, results in significantly improved rod survival and visual function. HAMC also improves the distribution, viability, and functional repair of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSCs). The HAMC delivery system improves cell transplantation efficacy in two CNS models, suggesting broad applicability.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.