Feasibility of adipose tissue-derived stem cell sheet fabricated ex vivo on temperature-responsive scaffolds as seed cells for ocular surface reconstruction

Authors: Wei Qiaoling,  Xu Jianjiang
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.2095-0160.2015.09.003
Published 2015-09-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2015,33(9): 781-786.

Abstract                            [Download PDF] [Read Full Text]


Development of corneal tissue engineering creates a new therapeutic method for severe corneal diseases. However, ideal seed cells and scaffold for corneal surface reconstruction have not yet been investigated well. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are varified to have a self-renewal ability and epithelioid features, and temperature-responsive scaffolds (TRSs) can offer technical support for stem cell sheet.


This study was to investigate the characteristics of ADSCs cultured on TRSs and compare these features to typical oral mucosal epithelial cells (OMECs), and therefore to explore the feasibility of reconstruction of ocular surface with ADSCs as seed cells.


Self-made TRSs were prepared by adding isopropyl alcohol dissolved poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAAm) to each polystyrene tissue culture dish and then irradiating using an election beam. Subcutaneious fatty tissue of rabbit neck was obtained to culture ADSCs, and 4 pieces of oral cavity mucosal tissue were digested and cultured to obtain OMECs. Then the ADSCs and OMECs were incubated on TRSs, and cell morphology, growth rate, detached duration and survival counts were compared between ADSCs and OMECs. The ADSCs sheet and OMECs sheet were stained with hematoxylin and eosin for morphological examination. Immunochemistry was used to observe the expressions of stem-cell biomakers and epithelioid-cell biomakers in the cells. The ultrastructure of cell surface was observed under the scanning electron microscope.


Self-made TRSs were similar to ordinary culture dish in the transparancy and smoothness. The water contact angle of 4 in 5 samples were >10° with the effective rate upto 80%. ADSCs showed the elongated fusiform in shape, while OMECs showed a cobblestone appearance. The growth cycle, detached duration and cell number of ADSCs were 12-14 days, (46. 0±9. 6) minutes and (7. 9±1. 1)×105/sheet, and those of OMECs were 14-16 days, (91. 9±10. 9) minutes and (45. 8±26. 5)×105/sheet, respectively, showing statistically significant differences in the detached duration and cell counts between ADSCs and OMECs (P=0. 002, 0. 028). Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed that ADSCs sheet comprised only 1-3 layer cells, while OMECs showed 4-5 layer cells. ATP-binding cassette superfamily G member 2(ABCG2), p63 and cytokeratin 12(CK12) were positively expressed in both ADSCs sheet and OMECs sheet. Closely packed cells and typical eithelial microvilli in the cell surface were exhibited in both ADSCs sheet and OMECs sheet under the scanning electron microscope.


Self-made TRSs can be used as scaffold of ADSCs. The ADSCs sheet on the TRSs appears to have a good cell vitality and therefore is a new seed source of ocular surface reconstruction.

Key words:

Tissue engineering, corneal; Cells, cultured; Adipose tissue-derived stem cells/cytology; Mouth mucosa/cytology; Biological markers/metabolism; Cell sheet technology; Ocular surface reconstruction; Rabbits

Contributor Information

Wei Qiaoling
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye and ENT Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, China
Xu Jianjiang
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