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Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2015 Mar;21(3):274-83. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2014.0323. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Microfluidic capture of endothelial colony-forming cells from human adult peripheral blood: phenotypic and functional validation in vivo.

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1
1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital , Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) are endothelial progenitors that circulate in peripheral blood and are currently the subject of intensive investigation due to their therapeutic potential. However, in adults, ECFCs comprise a very small subset among circulating cells, which makes their isolation a challenge.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Currently, the standard method for ECFC isolation relies on the separation of mononuclear cells and erythrocyte lysis, steps that are time consuming and known to increase cell loss. Alternatively, we previously developed a novel disposable microfluidic platform containing antibody-functionalized degradable hydrogel coatings that is ideally suited for capturing low-abundance circulating cells from unprocessed blood. In this study, we reasoned that this microfluidic approach could effectively isolate rare ECFCs by virtue of their CD34 expression.

RESULTS:

We conducted preclinical experiments with peripheral blood from four adult volunteers and demonstrated that the actual microfluidic capture of circulating CD34(+) cells from unprocessed blood was compatible with the subsequent differentiation of these cells into ECFCs. Moreover, the ECFC yield obtained with the microfluidic system was comparable to that of the standard method. Importantly, we unequivocally validated the phenotypical and functional properties of the captured ECFCs, including the ability to form microvascular networks following transplantation into immunodeficient mice.

DISCUSSION:

We showed that the simplicity and versatility of our microfluidic system could be very instrumental for ECFC isolation while preserving their therapeutic potential. We anticipate our results will facilitate additional development of clinically suitable microfluidic devices by the vascular therapeutic and diagnostic industry.

PMID:
25091645
PMCID:
PMC4346233
DOI:
10.1089/ten.TEC.2014.0323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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