(770g) Cellular Hitchhiking on Microparticles to Alleviate Skin Injury

Authors: 
Barua, S., Missouri University of Science and Technology
Smith, D., Missouri University of Science and Technology
Herman, C., Missouri University of Science and Technology
Regenerative medicine holds great potential for the treatment of tissue damage. However, there are currently very few clinical applications of cell-based therapies; numerous studies have encountered complications with keeping transplant cells alive. To overcome this, the present study focuses on engineering polymer microparticles. These microparticles provide mechanical support for adherent cells in suspension, a means of culturing enormous amounts of cells in small volumes, and receptor-ligand specific signal-mediated cell growth. In our study, a simple flow-focusing device was developed to synthesize poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles with the solvent diffusion method. Particle diameters of approximately 200 µm were achieved. Additionally, particle surface chemistry was modified to promote cell adhesion, and human fibroblasts cells were cultured with these particles in suspension. We call this cellular hitchhiking. The specific goal of this research is treatment of skin injury, but the technique has versatile tissue regeneration applications.