Cell delivery in regenerative medicine: The cell sheet engineering approach

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Recently, cell-based therapies have developed as a foundation for regenerative medicine. General approaches for cell delivery have thus far involved the use of direct injection of single cell suspensions into the target tissues. Additionally, tissue engineering with the general paradigm of seeding cells into biodegradable scaffolds has also evolved as a method for the reconstruction of various tissues and organs. With success in clinical trials, regenerative therapies using these approaches have therefore garnered significant interest and attention. As a novel alternative, we have developed cell sheet engineering using temperature-responsive culture dishes, which allows for the non-invasive harvest of cultured cells as intact sheets along with their deposited extracellular matrix. Using this approach, cell sheets can be directly transplanted to host tissues without the use of scaffolding or carrier materials, or used to create in vitro tissue constructs via the layering of individual cell sheets. In addition to simple transplantation, cell sheet engineered constructs have also been applied for alternative therapies such as endoscopic transplantation, combinatorial tissue reconstruction, and polysurgery to overcome limitations of regenerative therapies and cell delivery using conventional approaches.

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