The Use of Skeletal Muscle-Derived Pericytes in Tissue Engineering of Skeletal Muscle Graft based on 3D Pluronic-Fibrinogen (FF-127) Hydrogel Environment

Raz Hamami Dror Seliktar
Technion, Israel

Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are genetic disorders characterized by progressive muscle wasting, leading to limitations in motor capacity and in many cases to progressive paralysis and death. Skeletal muscle tissue engineering is a promising approach for the treatment of muscular disorders. However, reconstructive strategies yield only modest therapeutic outcomes. The wall of skeletal muscle vessels retains a niche of regenerative mesenchymal cells, namely Pericytes. Generally, pericytes are mural cells that surround the endothelium of small vessels. They regulate numerous functions, such as vessel growth, stabilization, and permeability. In this present study, we aim to rejuvenate skeletal muscle function by developing an injectable approach for intra-arterial delivery of Pericytes to the injury site using biomaterials combined with cell therapy. We developed a new class of Pluronic-Fibrinogen (FF-127) hydrogels for the production of micro-gels as carriers for cell therapy. These micro-carriers incorporate biological macromolecules with synthetic polymers to create a cross-linked hydrogel network through a thermal gelation in response to small changes in ambient temperature. We employed the FF-127 micro-carriers, seeded with skeletal muscle-derived pericytes (MP) using a new droplet-based microfluidic device, as the basis of our skeletal muscle repair strategy.

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