Human adipose stem cells were cultured in smooth muscle inductive media and seeded into synthetic bladder composites to tissue engineer bladder smooth muscle. 85:15 Poly-lactic-glycolic acid bladder dome composites were cast using an electropulled microfiber luminal surface combined with an outer porous sponge. Cell-seeded bladders expressed smooth muscle actin, myosin heavy chain, calponinin, and caldesmon via RT-PCR and immunoflourescence. Nude rats (n = 45) underwent removal of half their bladder and repair using: (i) augmentation with the adipose stem cell-seeded composites, (ii) augmentation with a matched acellular composite, or (iii) suture closure. Animals were followed for 12 weeks post-implantation and bladders were explanted serially. Results showed that bladder capacity and compliance were maintained in the cell-seeded group throughout the 12 weeks, but deteriorated in the acellular scaffold group sequentially with time. Control animals repaired with sutures regained their baseline bladder capacities by week 12, demonstrating a long-term limitation of this model. Histological analysis of explanted materials demonstrated viable adipose stem cells and increasing smooth muscle mass in the cell-seeded scaffolds with time. Tissue bath stimulation demonstrated smooth muscle contraction of the seeded implants but not the acellular implants after 12 weeks in vivo. Our study demonstrates the feasibility and short term physical properties of bladder tissue engineered from adipose stem cells. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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