Dynamics of tissue ingrowth in SIKVAV-modified highly superporous PHEMA scaffolds with oriented pores after bridging a spinal cord transection

  • Aleš HejčlEmail author
  • Jiří Růžička
  • Vladimír Proks
  • Hana Macková
  • Šárka Kubinová
  • Dmitry Tukmachev
  • Jiří Cihlář
  • Daniel Horák
  • Pavla Jendelová
Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates


While many types of biomaterials have been evaluated in experimental spinal cord injury (SCI) research, little is known about the time-related dynamics of the tissue infiltration of these scaffolds. We analyzed the ingrowth of connective tissue, axons and blood vessels inside the superporous poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) hydrogel with oriented pores. The hydrogels, either plain or seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), were implanted in spinal cord transection at the level of Th8. The animals were sacrificed at days 2, 7, 14, 28, 49 and 6 months after SCI and histologically evaluated. We found that within the first week, the hydrogels were already infiltrated with connective tissue and blood vessels, which remained stable for the next 6 weeks. Axons slowly and gradually infiltrated the hydrogel within the first month, after which the numbers became stable. Six months after SCI we observed rare axons crossing the hydrogel bridge and infiltrating the caudal stump. There was no difference in the tissue infiltration between the plain hydrogels and those seeded with MSCs. We conclude that while connective tissue and blood vessels quickly infiltrate the scaffold within the first week, axons show a rather gradual infiltration over the first month, and this is not facilitated by the presence of MSCs inside the hydrogel pores. Further research which is focused on the permissive micro-environment of the hydrogel scaffold is needed, to promote continuous and long-lasting tissue regeneration across the spinal cord lesion.



We would like to thank Frances Zatřepálková and Jan Lodin for proofreading the manuscript. The study has been supported by 2 grants from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic 14-14961S, 17-11140S, the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education in the framework of the project “Centre of Reconstructive Neuroscience “, registration number CZ.02.1.01/0.0./0.0/15_003/0000419 and by the grant from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports No. LO1309.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Experimental MedicineAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, J. E. Purkinje UniversityMasaryk HospitalÚstí nad LabemCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, 2nd Faculty of MedicineCharles UniversityPrague 5Czech Republic
  4. 4.Institute of Macromolecular ChemistryAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPraha 6Czech Republic
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryMotol University HospitalPrague 5Czech Republic
  6. 6.Department of Mathematics, Faculty of ScienceJ. E. Purkyně UniversityÚstí nad LabemCzech Republic

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