The use of autologous cells harvested and subsequently transplanted in an intraoperative environment constitutes a new approach to promote regeneration. Usually cells are isolated by selection methods such as fluorescence- or magnetic- activated cell sorting with residual binding of the antibodies or beads. Thus, cell-based therapies would benefit from the development of new devices for cell isolation that minimally manipulate the target cell population. In the clinic, 5 to 10 percent of fractures do not heal properly and CD31+ cells have been identified as promising candidates to support bone regeneration. The aim of this project was to develop and prototype a simple system to facilitate the enrichment of CD31+ cells from whole blood. After validating the specificity of a commercially available aptamer for CD31, we combined this aptamer with traditional magnetic bead strategies, which led to enrichment of CD31+ cells with a purity of 91±10%. Subsequently, the aptamer was attached to agarose beads (Ø = 100-165 um) that were incorporated into a column-based system to enable capture and subsequent release of the CD31+ enriched cells. Different parameters were investigated to allow a biophysical-based cell release from beads, and a simple mixing was found sufficient to release initially bound cells from the optimized column without the need for any chemicals that promote disassociation. The system led to a significant enrichment of CD31+ cells (initial population: 63±9%, released: 87±3%) with excellent cell viability (released: 97±1%). The composition of the released CD31+ fraction indicated an enrichment of the monocyte population. The angiogenic and osteogenic potential of the released cell population were confirmed in vitro. These results and the simplicity of this system highlight the potential of such approach to enable cell enrichment strategies in intraoperative settings.
Last updated on 12/10/2017
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