Cell-matrix Interactions of Factor IX (FIX)-engineered human mesenchymal stromal cells encapsulated in RGD-alginate vs. Fibrinogen-alginate microcapsules
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The success of cell microencapsulation technology in tissue engineering and protein delivery applications depends on the viability and functionality of the encapsulated cells, which in turn are dependent upon cell/matrix interactions. In this work, we compared the viability of cord blood-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (CB MSCs), engineered to secrete factor IX (FIX) for hemophilia treatment, and encapsulated in arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD)-alginate versus fibrinogen-alginate microcapsules. We evaluated the effect of the biomimetic matrix on cell attachment, proliferation, and secretion of FIX. Compared with nonsupplemented alginate matrix, RGD-alginate significantly enhanced the viability of the encapsulated MSCs. Further, cells in RGD-alginate displayed distinct attachment morphology, thus suggesting that RGD-alginate can potentially be used for the encapsulation of MSCs in tissue engineering applications that require enhanced cell attachment and viability. However, our data also showed that RGD-alginate microcapsules, in contrast to fibrinogen-alginate microcapsules, did not significantly improve cell proliferation of or FIX secretion by encapsulated MSCs. Our findings suggest that evidence of cell attachment alone may not accurately predict the functionality of cells in biomimetic microcapsules.