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Stem Cells Int. 2018 Mar 26;2018:7821461. doi: 10.1155/2018/7821461. eCollection 2018.

Retention and Functional Effect of Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells Administered in Alginate Hydrogel in a Rat Model of Acute Myocardial Infarction.

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Cardiology Stem Cell Centre, the Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Imaging & PET and Cluster for Molecular Imaging, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research Center and Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.



Cell therapy for heart disease has been proven safe and efficacious, despite poor cell retention in the injected area. Improving cell retention is hypothesized to increase the treatment effect. In the present study, human adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) were delivered in an in situ forming alginate hydrogel following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in rats.


ASCs were transduced with luciferase and tested for ASC phenotype. AMI was inducted in nude rats, with subsequent injection of saline (controls), 1 × 106 ASCs in saline or 1 × 106 ASCs in 1% (w/v) alginate hydrogel. ASCs were tracked by bioluminescence and functional measurements were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 82rubidium positron emission tomography (PET).


ASCs in both saline and alginate hydrogel significantly increased the ejection fraction (7.2% and 7.8% at 14 days and 7.2% and 8.0% at 28 days, resp.). After 28 days, there was a tendency for decreased infarct area and increased perfusion, compared to controls. No significant differences were observed between ASCs in saline or alginate hydrogel, in terms of retention and functional salvage.


ASCs improved the myocardial function after AMI, but administration in the alginate hydrogel did not further improve retention of the cells or myocardial function.

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