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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 1764523, 12 pages
Research Article

Tissue Engineering to Repair Diaphragmatic Defect in a Rat Model

1Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Texas, McGovern Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
2Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health), Houston, TX 77030, USA
3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas, McGovern Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
4Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas, McGovern Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to C. S. Cox Jr.; ude.cmt.htu@xoc.s.selrahc and Y. Li;

Received 2 March 2017; Revised 16 May 2017; Accepted 25 May 2017; Published 27 August 2017

Academic Editor: Heidi Declercq

Copyright © 2017 G. P. Liao 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.


Tissue engineering is an emerging strategy for repairing damaged tissues or organs. The current study explored using decellularized rat diaphragm scaffolds combined with human amniotic fluid-derived multipotent stromal cells (hAFMSC) to provide a scaffold, stem cell construct that would allow structural barrier function during tissue ingrowth/regeneration. We created an innovative cell infusion system that allowed hAFMSC to embed into scaffolds and then implanted the composite tissues into rats with surgically created left-sided diaphragmatic defects. Control rats received decellularized diaphragm scaffolds alone. We found that the composite tissues that combined hAFMSCs demonstrated improved physiological function as well as the muscular-tendon structure, compared with the native contralateral hemidiaphragm of the same rat. Our results indicate that the decellularized diaphragm scaffolds are a potential support material for diaphragmatic hernia repair and the composite grafts with hAFMSC are able to accelerate the functional recovery of diaphragmatic hernia.