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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 287896, 10 pages
Research Article

Chitosan Feasibility to Retain Retinal Stem Cell Phenotype and Slow Proliferation for Retinal Transplantation

1Instituto Universitario de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (IOBA), Universidad de Valladolid, Campus Miguel Delibes Paseo de Belen 17, 47011 Valladolid, Spain
2Centro en Red de Medicina Regenerativa y Terapia Celular de Castilla y León, 47011 Valladolid, Spain
3Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Cantabria, 39005 Santander, Spain
4Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragon (INA), Universidad de Zaragoza, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain

Received 2 April 2013; Revised 17 December 2013; Accepted 19 December 2013; Published 2 February 2014

Academic Editor: Ulrich Kneser

Copyright © 2014 Girish K. Srivastava et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Retinal stem cells (RSCs) are promising in cell replacement strategies for retinal diseases. RSCs can migrate, differentiate, and integrate into retina. However, RSCs transplantation needs an adequate support; chitosan membrane (ChM) could be one, which can carry RSCs with high feasibility to support their integration into retina. RSCs were isolated, evaluated for phenotype, and subsequently grown on sterilized ChM and polystyrene surface for 8 hours, 1, 4, and 11 days for analysing cell adhesion, proliferation, viability, and phenotype. Isolated RSCs expressed GFAP, PKC, isolectin, recoverin, RPE65, PAX-6, cytokeratin 8/18, and nestin proteins. They adhered (28 ± 16%, 8 hours) and proliferated (40 ± 20 cells/field, day 1 and 244 ± 100 cells/field, day 4) significantly low on ChM. However, they maintained similar viability (>95%) and phenotype (cytokeratin 8/18, PAX6, and nestin proteins expression, day 11) on both surfaces (ChM and polystyrene). RSCs did not express alpha-SMA protein on both surfaces. RSCs express proteins belonging to epithelial, glial, and neural cells, confirming that they need further stimulus to reach a final destination of differentiation that could be provided in in vivo condition. ChM does not alternate RSCs behaviour and therefore can be used as a cell carrier so that slow proliferating RSCs can migrate and integrate into retina.