Hierarchical scaffold design for mesenchymal stem cell-based gene therapy of hemophilia B
Gene therapy for hemophilia B and other hereditary plasma protein deficiencies showed great promise in pre-clinical and early clinical trials. However, safety concerns about in vivo delivery of viral vectors and poor post-transplant survival of ex vivo modified cells remain key hurdles for clinical translation of gene therapy. We here describe a 3D scaffold system based on porous hydroxyapatite-PLGA composites coated with biomineralized collagen 1. When combined with autologous gene-engineered factor IX (hFIX) positive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and implanted in hemophilic mice, these scaffolds supported long-term engraftment and systemic protein delivery by MSCs in vivo. Optimization of the scaffolds at the macro-, micro- and nanoscales provided efficient cell delivery capacity, MSC self-renewal and osteogenesis respectively, concurrent with sustained delivery of hFIX. In conclusion, the use of gene-enhanced MSC-seeded scaffolds may be of practical use for treatment of hemophilia B and other plasma protein deficiencies.