Pushing the envelope in biomaterial research: Initial results of prosthetic coating with stem cells in a rat model

Charles J. Dolce, Dimitrios Stefanidis, Jennifer E. Keller, Kenneth C Walters, William L. Newcomb, Jessica J. Heath, H. J. Norton, Amy E. Lincourt, Kent W. Kercher, B. T. Heniford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Coating prosthetic for hernia repair with a patient's own cells could improve biocompatibility by decreasing inflammation and adhesion formation and by increasing tissue ingrowth and resistance to infection. The objective of this study was to prove the feasibility of prosthetic coating with stem cells and to assess its resistance to adhesion formation when implanted in an animal model. Methods: Adult Lewis rat bone marrow stem cells were harvested and cultured. Stem cells were then implanted on three different prosthetics. The prosthetic with the best stem cell adherence was implanted intraperitoneally into six adult rats. Untreated prosthetic was implanted in control animals (n = 12). After 2 weeks, intra-abdominal adhesions were graded using an adhesion scoring scale by two surgeons who were blinded to the animal group. Data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: Stem cells demonstrated the best adherence and growth on polyglactin prosthetics. After implantation, the stem cell-coated polyglactin prosthetic had <25% of its surface area covered with adhesions in five (83%) samples, whereas the control polyglactin group had only one sample (8.3%) with <25% adhesions, and seven of its samples (58.3%) had >50% surface area adhesions (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The feasibility of hernia prosthetic coating with stem cells was demonstrated. Furthermore, stem-cell coated polyglactin prosthetic exhibited improved biocompatibility by decreasing adhesion formation in an animal model. Further study is needed to determine the factors that promote stem cell adherence to prosthetics and the in vivo prosthetic biomechanics after stem cell coating. This work is underway in our laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2687-2693
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesions
  • Hernia
  • Prosthetic
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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