Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 459–468 | Cite as

The in vivo assessment of a novel scaffold containing heparan sulfate for tissue engineering with human mesenchymal stem cells

  • Emma Luong-Van
  • Lisbeth Grøndahl
  • ShuJun Song
  • Victor Nurcombe
  • Simon Cool
Original Paper


Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are an attractive tissue engineering avenue for the repair and regeneration of bone. In this study we detail the in vivo performance of a novel electrospun polycaprolactone scaffold incorporating the glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate (HS) as a carrier for hMSC. HS is a multifunctional regulator of many key growth factors expressed endogenously during bone wound repair, and we have found it to be a potent stimulator of proliferation in hMSCs. To assess the potential of the scaffolds to support hMSC function in vivo, hMSCs pre-committed to the osteogenic lineage (human osteoprogenitor cells) were seeded onto the scaffolds and implanted subcutaneously into the dorsum of nude rats. After 6 weeks the scaffolds were retrieved and examined by histological methods. Implanted human cells were identified using a human nuclei-specific antibody. The host response to the implants was characterized by ED1 and ED2 antibody staining for monocytes/macrophages and mature tissue macrophages, respectively. It was found that the survival of the implanted human cells was affected by the host response to the implant regardless of the presence of HS, highlighting the importance of controlling the host response to tissue engineering devices.


Regenerative medicine Wound repair Proteoglycans 



The authors would like to acknowledge the grant support from Singapore’s Agency for Science Technology and Research (A-STAR), the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of Singapore and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) Singapore. This study was also supported by research grants from the Australian Research Council (DP0209873) and the Wesley Research Institute, Australia (2000100294).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Luong-Van
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lisbeth Grøndahl
    • 3
  • ShuJun Song
    • 1
  • Victor Nurcombe
    • 1
    • 4
  • Simon Cool
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Molecular and Cell BiologySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Molecular and Microbial SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbane Australia
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yong Loo School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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