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Alginate encapsulated multipotent adult progenitor cells promote corneal stromal cell activation via release of soluble factors

Lookup NU author(s): Olla Al-Jaibaji, Dr Steve Swioklo, Professor Francisco FigueiredoORCiD, Professor Che ConnonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 Al-Jaibaji et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. To reduce the increasing need for corneal transplantation, attempts are currently aiming to restore corneal clarity, one potent source of cells are multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC®). These cells release a powerful cocktail of paracrine factors that can guide wound healing and tissue regeneration. However, their role in corneal regeneration has been overlooked. Thus, we sought to explore the potential of combining the cytoprotective storage feature of alginate, with MAPC to generate a storable cell-laden gel for corneal wound healing. 72 hours following hypothermic storage, alginate encapsulation was shown to maintain MAPC viability at either 4 or 15C. Encapsulated MAPC (2 x106 cells/mL) stored at 15C presented the optimum temperature that allowed for cell recovery. These cells had the ability to reattach to tissue culture plastic whilst exhibiting normal phenotype and this was maintained in serum-free and xenobiotic-free medium. Furthermore, corneal stromal cells presented a significant decrease in scratch-wounds in the presence of alginate encapsulated MAPC compared to a no-cell control (p = 0.018). This study shows that immobilization of MAPC within an alginate hydrogel does not hinder their ability to affect a secondary cell population via soluble factors and that these effects are successfully retained following hypothermic storage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Jaibaji O, Swioklo S, Gijbels K, Vaes B, Figueiredo FC, Connon CJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2018

Volume: 13

Issue: 9

Online publication date: 07/09/2018

Acceptance date: 28/07/2018

Date deposited: 02/10/2018

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202118


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