Hydrogels derived from adipose tissue extracellular matrix (AdECM) have shown potential in the ability to generate new adipose tissue in vivo. To further enhance adipogenesis, a composite adipose derived delivery system (CADDS) containing single- and double-walled dexamethasone encapsulated microspheres (SW and DW Dex MS) has been developed. Previously, our laboratory has published the use of Dex MS as an additive to enhance adipogenesis and angiogenesis in adipose tissue grafts. In the current work, AdECM and CADDS are extensively characterized, in addition to conducting in vitro cell culture analysis. Study results indicate the AdECM used for the CADDS has minimal cellular and lipid content allowing for gelation of its collagen structure under physiological conditions. Adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) culture studies confirmed biocompatibility with the CADDS, and adipogenesis was increased in experimental groups containing the hydrogel scaffold. In vitro studies of AdECM hydrogel containing microspheres demonstrated a controlled release of dexamethasone from SW and DW formulations. The delivery of Dex MS via an injectable hydrogel scaffold combines two biologically responsive components to develop a minimally, invasive, off-the-shelf biomaterial for adipose tissue engineering.
Statement of significance: Scientists and doctors have yet to develop an off-the-shelf product for patients with soft tissue defects. Recently, the use of adipose derived extracellular matrix (adECM) to generate new adipose tissue in vivo has shown great promise but individually, adECM still has limitations in terms of volume and consistency. The current work introduces a novel composite off-the-shelf construct comprised of an adECM-based hydrogel and dexamethasone encapsulated microspheres (Dex MS). The hydrogel construct serves not only as an injectable protein-rich scaffold but also a delivery system for the Dex MS for non-invasive application to the defect site. The methods and results presented are a progressive step forward in the field of adipose tissue engineering.
Keywords: Adipose tissue extracellular matrix; Adipose tissue regeneration; Decellularization; Dexamethasone; Injectable hydrogel.
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