Chitosan/silk fibroin modified nanofibrous patches with mesenchymal stem cells prevent heart remodeling post-myocardial infarction in rats

Acta Biomater. 2018 Oct 15;80:154-168. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.09.013. Epub 2018 Sep 13.


Poor functional survival of the engrafted stem cells limits the therapeutic efficacy of stem-cell-based therapy for myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiac patch-based system for cardiac repair has emerged as a potential regenerative strategy for MI. This study aimed to design a cardiac patch to improve the retention of the engrafted stem cells and provide mechanical scaffold for preventing the ventricular remodeling post-MI. The patches were fabricated with electrospinning cellulose nanofibers modified with chitosan/silk fibroin (CS/SF) multilayers via layer-by-layer (LBL) coating technology. The patches engineered with adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) (cell nano-patch) were adhered to the epicardium of the infarcted region in rat hearts. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) revealed higher cell viability in the cell nano-patch group compared with the intra-myocardial injection group. Echocardiography demonstrated less ventricular remodeling in cell nano-patch group, with a decrease in the left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricular end-systolic volume compared with the control group. Additionally, left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening were elevated after cell nano-patch treatment compared with the control group. Histopathological staining demonstrated that cardiac fibrosis and apoptosis were attenuated, while local neovascularization was promoted in the cell nano-patch group. Western blot analysis illustrated that the expression of biomarkers for myocardial fibrosis (TGF-β1, P-smad3 and Smad3) and ventricular remodeling (BNP, β-MHC: α-MHC ratio) were decreased in cell nano patch-treated hearts. This study suggests that CS/SF-modified nanofibrous patches promote the functional survival of engrafted AD-MSCs and restrain ventricular remodeling post-MI through attenuating myocardial fibrosis. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: First, the nanofibrous patches fabricated from the electrospun cellulose nanofibers could mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) of hearts to improve the microenvironment post-MI and provide three dimensional (3D) scaffolds for the engrafted AD-MSCs. Second, CS and SF which have exhibited excellent properties in previous tissue engineering research, such as nontoxicity, biodegradability, anti-inflammatory, strong hydrophilic nature, high cohesive strength, and intrinsic antibacterial properties further optimized the biocompatibility of the nanofibrous patches via LBL modification. Finally, the study revealed that beneficial microenvironment and biomimetic ECM improve the retention and viability of the engrafted AD-MSCs and the mechanical action of the cell nano-patches for the expanding ventricular post-MI leads to suppression of HF progression by inhibition of ventricular remodeling.

Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells; Myocardial infarction; Stem cell nano-patch; Ventricular remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Survival
  • Cellulose / chemistry
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibroins / chemistry*
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Hemodynamics
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Organ Size
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Static Electricity
  • Ventricular Remodeling
  • Water / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Water
  • Cellulose
  • Fibroins
  • Chitosan