Xeno-free approach for the expansion of human adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells for ocular therapies

Exp Eye Res. 2021 Jan:202:108358. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2020.108358. Epub 2020 Nov 15.


To restore corneal transparency and vision loss after an injury on the ocular surface, the use of human stem cells from different origins has been recently proposed. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seem to be an appropriate adult source of autologous stem cells due to their accessibility, high proliferation rate, and multipotent capacity. In this work, we developed a simple culture system to prepare a graft based on a fibrin membrane seeded with human MSCs. A commercial kit, PRGF Endoret®, was used to prepare both, the growth factors used as culture media supplement and the fibrin membrane grafts. Adipose-derived MSCs (Ad-MSCs) were expanded, characterised by flow cytometry and their multilineage differentiation potential confirmed by inducing adipogenesis, osteogenesis and chondrogenesis. Ad-MSCs seeded on the fibrin membranes were grafted onto athymic mice showing good biocompatibility with no adverse reactions observed during the follow up period. These findings support the assumption that a system in which all the biological components (cells, grow factors and carrier) are autologous, could potentially be used for future ex vivo expansion of Ad-MSCs to treat ocular conditions such as an inflammatory milieu, traumatic scars and loss of the regenerative capacity of the corneal epithelium that compromise the quality of vision.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Autologous; Mesenchymal stem cells; Ocular surface; PRGF; Plasma rich in growth factors; Regenerative medicine; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Eye Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult