Objective: The gold standard for bladder regeneration in end-stage bladder disease is the use of intestinal tissue, which is however associated with significant long-term complications. Our study aims to bioengineer functional detrusor muscle combining bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and SMC-like adipose-derived stem cells (pADSC) in compressed collagen (CC) hydrogels and to investigate biocompatibility and tissue regeneration of such detrusor-equivalents in a rat detrusorectomy model.
Methods: Compressed collagen hydrogels seeded with 1 × 106 or 4 × 106 SMC alone or in combination with pADSC in a 1:1 ratio were investigated. Morphology, phenotype, and viability as well as proteomic secretome analysis were assessed in the 1:1 co-cultures and the respective monocultures. The hydrogels were implanted into rat bladders after partial detrusorectomy. Bladders were harvested 8 weeks after transplantation, and assessed for tissue morphology, detrusor regeneration, neo-vascularization and -innervation.
Results: Co-cultured cells exhibited native SMC morphology, high viability and proliferated to form microtissues in vitro. The pro-angiogenic factors angiogenin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and -D were increased in the secretome of the pADSC samples. After 8 weeks of in vivo, the regenerated bladder wall showed a multilayered structure containing all bladder wall components. The overall performance of the bladder wall regeneration of CC seeded with 4 × 106 cells was significantly better than with 1 × 106 cells and the combination SMC:pADCS performed slightly better than SMC alone.
Conclusion: Compressed collagen possesses an adequate regenerative potential to promote regeneration of bladder wall tissue in vivo. Seeded with a combination of pADSC and SMC this may well be the first step towards a functional bladder reconstruction especially in patients suffering of end-stage bladder diseases.
Keywords: collagen; detrusor muscle; stem cells; tissue engineering; urinary bladder.
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.