Angiogenic effects of mesenchymal stem cells in combination with different scaffold materials

Tissue survival in regenerative tissue engineering requires rapid vascularization, which is influenced by scaffold material and seeded cell selection. Poly-l-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) and beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) are well-established biomaterials with angiogenic effects because of their material properties. Given the importance of the seeded cell type as a co-factor for vascularization, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to have high angiogenic potential. We hypothesized that PLGA and β-TCP scaffolds seeded with MSCs would effectively induce a potent angiogenic response. Therefore, we studied the angiogenic effects after implanting PLGA and β-TCP scaffolds seeded with isogeneic MSCs in vivo. Fifty-six BALB/c mice were equally divided into seven groups and underwent implantation of the dorsal skinfold chambers. Two MSC groups were seeded on collagen-coated PLGA or β-TCP scaffolds, whereas groups 3–6 received collagen-coated or uncoated scaffolds without MSCs. No scaffold implantation was performed for group 7, which served as the control. Angiogenesis was assessed in vivo via intravital fluorescence microscopy. Angiogenic responses were noted on all scaffolds, whereupon MSC angiogenic response was significantly enhanced on days 6 and 10. Additionally, a comparison of biomaterials indicated increased angiogenic activity for β-TCP scaffolds compared with PLGA scaffolds. In conclusion, seeding β-TCP scaffolds with MSCs can accelerate vitalization and a combination of both significantly improves angiogenesis.