Cell-Based Soft Tissue Reconstruction in a Hydrogel Scaffold

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Abstract

Background

Renevia is a hyaluronin-gelatin crosslinked matrix scaffold that has been studied as an alternative to adipose transfer in soft tissue reconstruction. It is designed to emulate the native extracellular matrix environment by supporting stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cell attachment, survival, and proliferation, thus promoting cell-based volume restoration. However, the concentration of incorporated cells for a clinically relevant result has yet to be determined.

Methods

Five experimental groups of seven CD-1 nude immunodeficient mice were given 250 μL grafts of the following composition: 1 million human SVF cells per mL of Renevia scaffold, 6 million human SVF cells per mL scaffold, 12 million human SVF cells per mL scaffold, Renevia scaffold-alone or human adipose tissue–alone. Volumetric analysis was conducted at discrete time points over 16 weeks using 3-dimensional ultrasound, after which time the grafts were explanted for histologic analysis.

Results

At the conclusion of the study at week 16, the Renevia scaffold group incorporating the highest concentration of human SVF cells (12 million cells per mL scaffold) had significantly greater volume retention compared with the 2 lower concentrations, scaffold-alone and fat-alone groups. Histology of the 12 million scaffold group revealed abundant adipocyte formation within the scaffold, exceeding that observed in the 6 million, 1 million, and scaffold-alone groups. The 12 million group also demonstrated significantly increased vascularity per CD31 staining.

Conclusions

Stromal vascular fraction cells coupled with Renevia hydrogel scaffold can enhance soft tissue volume reconstruction. In this study, we observed the greatest effect with 12 million cells per mL. From the perspective of volume retention, incorporation of higher concentrations of SVF cells with Renevia may be an alternative to conventional adipose tissue grafting.

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