A hyaluronic acid demilune scaffold and polypyrrole-coated fibers carrying embedded human neural precursor cells and curcumin for surface capping of spinal cord injuries

Hoda Elkhenany, Pablo Bonilla, Esther Giraldo, Ana Alastrue Agudo, Michael J. Edel, María Jesus Vicent, Fernando Gisbert Roca, Cristina Martínez Ramos, Laura Rodríguez Doblado, Manuel Monleón Pradas, Victoria Moreno Manzano

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Tissue engineering, including cell transplantation and the application of biomaterials and bioactive molecules, represents a promising approach for regeneration following spinal cord injury (SCI). We designed a combinatorial tissue-engineered approach for the minimally invasive treatment of SCI—a hyaluronic acid (HA)-based scaffold containing polypyrrole-coated fibers (PPY) combined with the RAD16-I self-assembling peptide hydrogel (Corning® PuraMatrix™ peptide hydrogel (PM)), human induced neural progenitor cells (iNPCs), and a nanoconjugated form of curcumin (CURC). In vitro cultures demonstrated that PM preserves iNPC viability and the addition of CURC reduces apoptosis and enhances the outgrowth of Nestin-positive neurites from iNPCs, compared to non-embedded iNPCs. The treatment of spinal cord organotypic cultures also demonstrated that CURC enhances cell migration and prompts a neuron-like morphology of embedded iNPCs implanted over the tissue slices. Following sub-acute SCI by traumatic contusion in rats, the implantation of PM-embedded iNPCs and CURC with PPY fibers supported a significant increase in neuro-preservation (as measured by greater βIII-tubulin staining of neuronal fibers) and decrease in the injured area (as measured by the lack of GFAP staining). This combination therapy also restricted platelet-derived growth factor expression, indicating a reduction in fibrotic pericyte invasion. Overall, these findings support PM-embedded iNPCs with CURC placed within an HA demilune scaffold containing PPY fibers as a minimally invasive combination-based alternative to cell transplantation alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1928
JournalBiomedicines
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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