Microporous dermal-mimetic electrospun scaffolds pre-seeded with fibroblasts promote tissue regeneration in full-thickness skin wounds.PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0122359.Plos
Electrospun scaffolds serve as promising substrates for tissue repair due to their nanofibrous architecture and amenability to tailoring of chemical composition. In this study, the regenerative potential of a microporous electrospun scaffold pre-seeded with dermal fibroblasts was evaluated. Previously we reported that a 70% collagen I and 30% poly(Ɛ-caprolactone) electrospun scaffold (70:30 col/PCL) containing 160 μm diameter pores had favorable mechanical properties, supported fibroblast infiltration and subsequent cell-mediated deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), and promoted more rapid and effective in vivo skin regeneration when compared to scaffolds lacking micropores. In the current study we tested the hypothesis that the efficacy of the 70:30 col/PCL microporous scaffolds could be further enhanced by seeding scaffolds with dermal fibroblasts prior to implantation into skin wounds. To address this hypothesis, a Fischer 344 (F344) rat syngeneic model was employed. In vitro studies showed that dermal fibroblasts isolated from F344 rat skin were able to adhere and proliferate on 70:30 col/PCL microporous scaffolds, and the cells also filled the 160 μm pores with native ECM proteins such as collagen I and fibronectin. Additionally, scaffolds seeded with F344 fibroblasts exhibited a low rate of contraction (~14%) over a 21 day time frame. To assess regenerative potential, scaffolds with or without seeded F344 dermal fibroblasts were implanted into full thickness, critical size defects created in F344 hosts. Specifically, we compared: microporous scaffolds containing fibroblasts seeded for 4 days; scaffolds containing fibroblasts seeded for only 1 day; acellular microporous scaffolds; and a sham wound (no scaffold). Scaffolds containing fibroblasts seeded for 4 days had the best response of all treatment groups with respect to accelerated wound healing, a more normal-appearing dermal matrix structure, and hair follicle regeneration. Collectively these results suggest that microporous electrospun scaffolds pre-seeded with fibroblasts promote greater wound-healing than acellular scaffolds.