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Tissue Eng. 2006 Apr;12(4):821-30.

Behavior of adult human mesenchymal stem cells entrapped in alginate-GRGDY beads.

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Department of Biochemical Engineering, Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


This study demonstrates that adult human mesenchymal cells (MSC) can be encapsulated in alginate beads with a substantially retained viability (>80%) and that a Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Tyr (GRGDY) derivative encourages attachment and elongation to form a dense network of cells that is required for a tissue substitute. Because the availability of autologous human material is severely limited, we used and examined the beads in this study as a proxy for larger constructs. These bead constructs were assessed using phase contrast microscopy and standard histological preparations. In addition, we used a modified MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay to examine cell proliferation by dissociating the cell/alginate constructs using trisodium citrate and trypsin/EDTA. MSCs did not proliferate within the alginate-GRGDY matrix during the 2 weeks examined. These results were further substantiated by concurrent cell density measurements using a hemocytometer. In addition, the glucose consumption rate was measured and compared to that of MSCs grown in two-dimensional culture vessels, indicating steady consumption albeit at a lower level in the entrapped MSCs.

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