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Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine is a multidisciplinary journal that publishes articles on the development of therapeutic approaches to repair, replace, restore, regenerate, or improve tissue or organ function.
Chief Editor, Professor Catherine Kuo is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland. Her research integrates developmental biology with materials science and engineering to inform tendon regenerative medicine strategies.
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Genetically Engineered Macrophages Derived from iPSCs for Self-Regulating Delivery of Anti-Inflammatory Biologic Drugs
In rheumatoid arthritis, dysregulated cytokine signaling has been implicated as a primary factor in chronic inflammation. Many antirheumatic and biological therapies are used to suppress joint inflammation, but despite these advances, effectiveness is not universal, and delivery is often at high doses, which can predispose patients to significant off-target effects. During chronic inflammation, the inappropriate regulation of signaling factors by macrophages accelerates the progression of disease by driving an imbalance of inflammatory cytokines, making macrophages an ideal cellular target. To develop a macrophage-based therapy to treat chronic inflammation, we engineered a novel induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived macrophage capable of delivering soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1), an anti-inflammatory biologic inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), in an autoregulated manner in response to TNF-α. Murine iPSCs were differentiated into macrophages (iMACs) over a 17-day optimized protocol with continued successful differentiation confirmed at key timepoints. Varying inflammatory and immunomodulatory stimuli demonstrated traditional macrophage function and phenotypes. In response to TNF-α, therapeutic iMACs produced high levels of sTNFR1 in an autoregulated manner, which inhibited inflammatory signaling. This self-regulating iMAC system demonstrated the potential for macrophage-based drug delivery as a novel therapeutic approach for a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Controlled Release of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Conditioned Media from a Microsphere/Gel-Based Drug Delivery System for Wound Healing of Tympanic Membrane Perforations
Chronic tympanic membrane (TM) perforation increases patient susceptibility to infection, hearing loss, and other side effects. Current clinical treatment, surgical grafting, can result in detrimental side effects including nerve damage, dizziness, or hearing loss. Therefore, it is essential to develop novel therapeutic procedures that can induce or accelerate healing in minimally or noninvasive approaches. Cell-free therapies have safety advantages over stem cells and are logistically favorable for clinical use. The regenerative potential by mesenchymal stem cell-conditioned media (CM) has been promising. In this study, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres with CM encapsulated have been developed as a cell-free alternative regenerative treatment for TM perforation. The results suggest that the PLGA microspheres were capable of encapsulating and releasing CM for up to 21 days. The in vitro scratch wound proliferation assays showed increased wound healing ability of CM-loaded microspheres. In vivo guinea pig models treated with CM drops and CM-loaded microspheres using a thermoresponsive gel carrier demonstrated potential for wound healing in TM perforation. These studies provide a basis for further examination of the delivery of stem cell CM and investigation of time-dependent wound healing, long-term ototoxicity, and hearing restoration.
Applied Electric Fields Polarize Initiation and Growth of Endothelial Sprouts
Therapeutic electric fields (EFs) are applied to the epidermis to accelerate the healing of chronic epidermal wounds and promote skin transplantation. While research has emphasized understanding the role of EFs in polarizing the migration of superficial epidermal cells, there are no reports describing the effect of EFs on polarization of the underlying vasculature. We explored the effects of EFs on the growth of endothelial sprouts, precursors to functional blood vessels. We discovered that DC EFs of the same magnitude near wounded epidermis polarize initiation, growth, and turning of endothelial sprouts toward the anode. While EFs polarize sprouts, they do not change the frequency of primary sprout or branch formation. Unidirectional electrical pulses also polarize sprouts based on their time-averaged EF magnitude. Sprout polarization occurs antiparallel to the direction of electrically driven water flow (electro-osmosis) and is consistent with the direction of sprout polarization induced by pressure-driven flow. These results support the role of EFs in controlling the direction of neovascularization during the healing of soft tissues and tissue engineering.
Improvement of Endothelial Cell-Polycaprolactone Interaction through Surface Modification via Aminolysis, Hydrolysis, and a Combined Approach
Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a promising material for the fabrication of alternatives to autologous grafts used in coronary bypass surgery. PCL biodegrades over time, allowing cells to infiltrate the polymeric matrix, replacing the biodegrading graft, and creating a fully functional vessel constituted of autologous tissue. However, the high hydrophobicity of PCL is associated with poor cell affinity. Surface modification of PCL can increase this cell affinity, making PCL an improved scaffold material for acellular vascular grafts. In this study, the surface of PCL films was modified by hydrolysis, aminolysis, and the combination thereof to introduce carboxyl, hydroxyl, and amino groups on the surface. Only the hydrolyzed films exhibited a significant increase in their hydrophilicity, although further testing showed that all aminolysis conditions had amino groups on the surface. Furthermore, in vitro experiments with human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) were performed to assess changes in cell affinity for PCL due to the surface treatments. PCL treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), a hydrolysis reaction, showed a significant increase in endothelial cell adhesion after 24 hours with a significant increase in cell survival after 72 hours. Thus, NaOH treatment improves the biocompatibility and endothelialization of PCL, creating a competent candidate for artificial, acellular, biodegradable vascular grafts.
Adult Bovine-Derived Small and Large Intestinal Organoids: In Vitro Development and Maintenance
Recent progress in bovine intestinal organoid research has expanded opportunities for creating improved in vitro models to study intestinal physiology and pathology. However, the establishment of a culture condition capable of generating organoids from all segments of the cattle intestine has remained elusive. Although previous research has described the development of bovine jejunal, ileal, and colonic organoids, this study marks the first report of successful bovine duodenal and rectal organoid development. Maintenance of these organoids through serial passages and cryopreservation was achieved, with higher success rates observed in large intestinal organoids compared to their small intestinal counterparts. A novel approach involving the use of biopsy forceps during initial tissue sampling streamlined the subsequent tissue processing, simplifying the procedure compared to previously established protocols in cattle. In addition, our study introduced a more cost-effective culture medium based on advanced DMEM/F12, diverging from frequently used commercially available organoid culture media. This enhancement improves the accessibility to organoid technology by reducing culture costs. Crucially, the derived organoids from the jejunum, ileum, colon, and rectum faithfully preserved the structural, cellular, and genetic characteristics of the in vivo intestinal tissue. This research underscores the significant potential of adult bovine intestinal organoids as a physiologically and morphologically relevant in vitro model. Such organoids provide a renewable and sustainable resource for a broad spectrum of studies, encompassing investigations into normal intestinal physiology in cattle and the intricate host-pathogen interactions of clinically and economically significant enteric pathogens.
Engineered Decellularized Tendon Matrix Putty Preserves Native Tendon Bioactivity to Promote Cell Proliferation and Enthesis Repair
Rotator cuff tears are a common soft tissue injury that can significantly decrease function of the shoulder and cause severe pain. Despite progress in surgical technique, rotator cuff repairs (RCRs) do not always heal efficiently. Many failures occur at the bone-tendon interface as a result of poor healing capacity of the tendon and failure to regenerate the native histological anatomy of the enthesis. While allografts are commercially available, clinical use is limited as they do not stimulate tissue regeneration and are associated with a structural failure of up to 40% in re-tear cases. Novel tissue engineering strategies are being developed with promise, but most involve addition of cells and/or growth factors which extends the timeline for clinical translation. Thus, there exists a significant unmet clinical need for easily translatable surgical augmentation approaches that can improve healing in RCR. Here we describe the development of a decellularized tendon matrix (DTM) putty that preserves native tendon bioactivity using a novel processing technique. In vitro, DTM promoted proliferation of tenocytes and adipose-derived stem cells with an increase in expression-specific transcription factors seen during enthesis development, Scleraxis and Sox9. When placed in a rabbit model of a chronic rotator cuff tear, DTM improved histological tissue repair by promoting calcification at the bone-tendon interface more similar to the normal fibrocartilaginous enthesis. Taken together, these data indicate that the engineered DTM putty retains a pro-regenerative bioactivity that presents a promising translational strategy for improving healing at the enthesis.