A Cell Phenotype based Assay on a Biomaterial Matrix for Identification of Genes and Factors in Stem Cell Tissue Regeneration
Authors:Faustino Becerra, Madonna Chico
Mentor:Jim Harber, Microbiology Professor, Oxnard College
In many current investigations, adult stem cell therapies have shown success where the patients own cells are harvested, differentiated in the lab in culture, and then returned to the patient as a therapeutic. Considerable evidence exists that the body’s own biomaterials produced during the wound repair process, and/or extracellular matrix proteins of the tissue itself contain spatial and contextual clues for stem cell differentiation. There is a need to develop a simple assay for the detection of genes and factors that are involved in the general wound repair and re-population process for all tissues that involves a potentially automated method for differentiation of endogenous naturally occurring stem cells to become fully functional tissues. In this study, a biomaterial consisting of a fibrin-fibronectin matrix (FFM) was tested using Hamster (CHO) cells to observe their interaction with the wound repair biomaterial matrix. In these results, the CHO cells were able to grow normally proximal to the FFM constructed on the plastic of a tissue culture dish. In contrast, a characteristic differential branching shape of CHO was observed where cells developed multiple pseudopodia like structures that contacted the FFM biomaterial. These differences were consistent with the types of morphological changes that occur suddenly during lymphocyte attachment and migration in response to inflammation. This is presumed to be a similar stage that stem cells achieve as they move from the bloodstream to invade and differentiate in damaged tissues. A straightforward phenotypic assay is defined in this study for a common cellular mechanism that can be studied in vitro for identification of genes involved recognition and attachment of stem cells to a damaged tissue matrix. This precedes the cells ultimate migration and further differentiation to repair the tissue.