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Bioimpacts. 2020;10(1):45-54. doi: 10.15171/bi.2020.06. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Propagation of limbal stem cells on polycaprolactone and polycaprolactone/gelatin fibrous scaffolds and transplantation in animal model.

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Poostchi Ophthalmology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Department of Medical Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB), Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: This study was conducted to compare the effect of nanofibrous polycaprolactone (PCL) and PCL/gelatin (PCL/Gel) on limbal epithelial stem cell (LESC) and its efficiency for transplantation in animal model. Methods: PCL and PCL/Gel with a mass ratio of 70:30 and 50:50 was fabricated by electrospinning method. Human LESCs were cultured on PCL and PCL/Gel scaffolds and the effect of each scaffold on LESC proliferation, attachment and corneal epithelial regeneration in an animal model was evaluated, considering ease of use of scaffold and final transparency of the cornea. Results: Our data showed that PCL was more suitable than PCL/Gel for LESCs adherence, induction of epithelial morphology and proliferation. Histopathologic analysis of corneal sections from transplanted animals showed that epithelium was regenerated almost similar in PCL and PCL/Gel groups; however, vascularization and inflammation were significantly lower in the group receiving PCL. Conclusion: The represented data indicated the priority of PCL to PCL/Gel for the LESC attachment, proliferation and final outcome in an animal model of alkaline injury. This finding might be promising for cell therapy of corneal diseases.


Fibrous scaffold; Gelatin; Limbal stem cell deficiency; Polycaprolactone; Transplantation; limbal epithelial stem cell

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