Rationale: Stem cell therapy faces several challenges. It is difficult to grow, preserve, and transport stem cells before they are administered to the patient. Synthetic analogs for stem cells represent a new approach to overcome these hurdles and hold the potential to revolutionize regenerative medicine.
Objective: We aim to fabricate synthetic analogs of stem cells and test their therapeutic potential for treatment of acute myocardial infarction in mice.
Methods and results: We packaged secreted factors from human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles and then coated them with MSC membranes. We named these therapeutic particles synthetic MSC (or synMSC). synMSC exhibited a factor release profile and surface antigens similar to those of genuine MSC. synMSC promoted cardiomyocyte functions and displayed cryopreservation and lyophilization stability in vitro and in vivo. In a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction, direct injection of synMSC promoted angiogenesis and mitigated left ventricle remodeling.
Conclusions: We successfully fabricated a synMSC therapeutic particle and demonstrated its regenerative potential in mice with acute myocardial infarction. The synMSC strategy may provide novel insight into tissue engineering for treating multiple diseases.
Keywords: artificial cells; mesenchymal stem cells; myocardial infarction; regeneration; stem cells; tissue engineering.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.