Enhanced attachment, growth and migration of smooth muscle cells on microcarriers produced using thermally induced phase separation

R Ahmadi, N Mordan, A Forbes, R M Day

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Microcarriers are widely used for the expansion of cells in vitro, but also offer an approach for combining cell transplantation and tissue bulking for regenerative medicine in a minimally invasive manner. This could be beneficial in conditions associated with muscle damage or atrophy, such as faecal incontinence, where the use of bulking materials or cell transplantation alone has proven to be ineffective. Microcarriers currently available have not been designed for this purpose and are likely to be suboptimal due to their physical and biochemical properties. The aim of this study was to investigate macroporous microspheres of polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA), prepared using a thermally induced phase separation technique, for their suitability as cell microcarriers for the transplantation of smooth muscle cells. Cell attachment, growth and migration were studied and compared with commercially available porcine gelatin microcarriers (Cultispher-S) in suspension culture. Smooth muscle cells attached more rapidly to the PLGA microcarriers, which also significantly enhanced the rate of cell growth compared with Cultispher-S microcarriers. The majority of smooth muscle cells attached to the PLGA microcarriers in suspension culture were able to migrate away over a 15 day period of static culture, unlike Cultispher-S microcarriers which retained the majority of cells. The ability of PLGA microcarriers to enhance cell growth combined with their capacity to release cells at the sites of delivery are features that make them ideally suited for use as a cell transplantation delivery device in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1549
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Kinetics
  • Lactic Acid
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microspheres
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle
  • Particle Size
  • Phase Transition
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Sus scrofa
  • Temperature

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