Davis Lab Pub: Electrospun Nanofiber-Based Patches for the Delivery of Cardiac Progenitor Cells
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the number one cause of birth defect-related death because it often leads to right ventricular heart failure (RVHF). One promising avenue to combat this RVHF is the use of cardiac patches comprised of stem cells and scaffolds. Herein, we demonstrate a reparative cardiac patch by combining neonatal or child c-Kit+ cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) with a scaffold comprised of electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers. We examined different parameters of the patch, including the alignment, composition, and surface properties of the nanofibers, as well as the age of the CPCs. The patch based on uniaxially aligned nanofibers successfully aligned the CPCs. With the inclusion of gelatin in the nanofiber matrix and/or coating of fibronectin on the surface of the nanofibers, the metabolism of both neonatal and child CPCs was generally enhanced. The conditioned media collected from both patches based on aligned and random nanofibers could reduce the fibrotic gene expression in rat cardiac fibroblasts following stimulation with transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). Furthermore, the conditioned media collected from the nanofiber-based patches could lead to the formation of tubes of human umbilical vein endothelial cells, indicating the pro-angiogenic capability of the patch. Taken together, the electrospun nanofiber-based patches are a suitable delivery vehicle for CPCs and can confer reparative benefit through anti-fibrotic and pro-angiogenic paracrine signaling.