Indexed on: 09 Jul '14Published on: 09 Jul '14Published in: Biomaterials
Despite recent advances in cardiovascular medicine, ischemic diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of ischemic diseases show great promise, limited availability of biologically functional stem cells mired the application of stem cell-based therapies. Previously, we reported a PES-nanofiber based ex vivo stem cell expansion technology, which supports expansion of human umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived CD133(+)/CD34(+) progenitor cells ∼225 fold. Herein, we show that using similar technology and subsequent re-expansion methods, we can achieve ∼5 million-fold yields within 24 days of the initial seeding. Interestingly, stem cell phenotype was preserved during the course of the multiple expansions. The high level of the stem cell homing receptor, CXCR4 was expressed in the primary expansion cells, and was maintained throughout the course of re-expansions. In addition, re-expanded cells preserved their multi-potential differential capabilities in vitro, such as, endothelial and smooth muscle lineages. Moreover, biological functionality of the re-expanded cells was preserved and was confirmed by a murine hind limb ischemia model for revascularization. These cells could also be genetically modified for enhanced vasculogenesis. Immunohistochemical evidences support enhanced expression of angiogenic factors responsible for this enhanced neovascularization. These data further confirms that nanofiber-based ex-vivo expansion technology can generate sufficient numbers of biologically functional stem cells for potential clinical applications.