Fibrin microthreads support mesenchymal stem cell growth while maintaining differentiation potential



We developed a method to produce discrete fibrin microthreads, which can be seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and used as a suture to enhance the efficiency and localization of cell delivery. To assess the efficacy of fibrin microthreads to support hMSC attachment, proliferation, and survival, microthreads (100 μm diameter per microthread) were bundled together, seeded with 50,000 hMSCs for 2 h, and cultured for 5 days. Cell density on microthread bundles increased over time in culture to a maximum average density of 731 ± 101 cells/mm2 after 5 days. A LIVE/DEAD assay confirmed that the cells were viable, and Ki-67 staining verified hMSC proliferation. In addition, functional differentiation assays demonstrated that hMSCs cultured on microthreads retained their ability to differentiate into adipocytes and osteocytes. The results of this study demonstrate that fibrin microthreads support hMSC viability and proliferation, while maintaining their multipotency. We anticipate that these cell-seeded fibrin microthreads will serve as a platform technology to improve localized delivery and engraftment of viable cells to damaged tissue. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A:, 2011.