Indexed on: 14 Oct '16Published on: 14 Oct '16Published in: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Central nervous system (CNS) injuries and diseases result in neuronal damage, and loss of function. Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) has been shown to improve locomotor function after transplantation. However, due to the immune and inflammatory response at the injury site, the survival rate of the engrafted cells is low. Engrafted cell viability has been shown to increase when transplanted within a hydrogel. Hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels have natural anti-inflammatory properties and the backbone can be modified to introduce bioactive agents, such as anti-Fas, which we have previously shown to promote NSC survival while suppressing immune cell activity in bulk hydrogels in vitro. Although bulk HA hydrogels have shown to promote stem cell survival, microsphere gels for NSC encapsulation and delivery may have additional advantages. In this study, a flow focusing device microfluidic device was used to fabricate either vinyl sulfone modified HA (VS-HA) or anti-Fas conjugated HA (anti-Fas HA) microsphere gels encapsulated with NSCs. The majority of encapsulated NSCs remained viable for at least 24 h in the anti-Fas HA microsphere gels. Moreover, T-cells cultured in suspension with the anti-Fas HA microsphere gels had reduced viability after contact with the microsphere gels compared to the media control and soluble anti-Fas conditions. This approach can be adapted to encapsulate various cell types for therapeutic strategies in other physiological systems in order to increase survival by reducing the immune response. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.