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Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2019 Jun;15(3):404-414. doi: 10.1007/s12015-018-9870-5.

Gelatin Based Polymer Cell Coating Improves Bone Marrow-Derived Cell Retention in the Heart after Myocardial Infarction.

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Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
Gill Heart and Vascular Institute and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Kentucky and the Lexington VA Medical Center, Lexington, KY, USA.
MilliporeSigma, Seattle, WA, 98119, USA.
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.



Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and the ensuing ischemic heart disease are approaching an epidemic state. Limited stem cell retention following intracoronary administration has reduced the clinical efficacy of this novel therapy. Polymer based cell coating is biocompatible and has been shown to be safe. Here, we assessed the therapeutic utility of gelatin-based biodegradable cell coatings on bone marrow derived cell retention in ischemic heart.


Gelatin based cell coatings were formed from the surface-mediated photopolymerization of 3% gelatin methacrylamide and 1% PEG diacrylate. Cell coating was confirmed using a multimodality approach including flow cytometry, imaging flow cytometry (ImageStream System) and immunohistochemistry. Biocompatibility of cell coating, metabolic activity of coated cells, and the effect of cell coating on the susceptibility of cells for engulfment were assessed using in vitro models. Following myocardial infarction and GFP+ BM-derived mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, flow cytometric and immunohistochemical assessment of retained cells was performed.


Coated cells are viable and metabolically active with coating degrading within 72 h in vitro. Importantly, cell coating does not predispose bone marrow cells to aggregation or increase their susceptibility to phagocytosis. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated no evidence of heightened immune response or increased phagocytosis of coated cells. Cell transplantation studies following myocardial infarction proved the improved retention of coated bone marrow cells compared to uncoated cells.


Gelation based polymer cell coating is biologically safe and biodegradable. Therapies employing these strategies may represent an attractive target for improving outcomes of cardiac regenerative therapies in human studies.


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; Cell coating; Myocardial infarction; Photo-polymerization; Polymer

[Available on 2020-06-01]

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