Retinoic acid –loaded core-shell fibrous scaffold for neuronal differentiation of trabecular mesenchymal stem cells

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Medical Nanotechnology, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

3 Zanjan Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

4 Zanjan Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran


Objective(s): Scientists believe that they can fabricate a biochemical scaffold and seed stem cells on it to create an extracellular matrix for tissue generation. This study sought to develop retinoic acid (RA)-loaded core-shell fibrous scaffolds (Poly-Caprolactone (PCL)/Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) based on electrospinning technique, to examine neural differentiation of trabecular mesenchymal stem cells (TM-MSCs).
Materials and Methods: PEO-PCL core- shell fibrous scaffold was fabricated using coaxial electrospinning and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) used to evaluate the chemical bond structure, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been utilized to evaluate surface topography and fibrous diameter, and transient electron microscopy (TEM) to evaluate core-shell structure. The neural differentiation was evaluated using Real-Time PCR.
Results: The results of FTIR, SEM, and TEM confirm the fabrication of core-shell fibrous of PEO-PCL. The fabricated scaffold provides a suitable substrate for adhesion, cell proliferation, and differentiation. SEM images show changes in the morphology of TM-MSCs to neuronal cells. A sustained release of RA from the PEO/PCL scaffold was detected over 14 days. In addition, quantifying the expression of the gene indicates an increase in the gene expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) gene.
Conclusion:The PEO/PCL core-shell fibrous scaffold containing a RA constructed using coaxial electrospinning technique was a suitable substrate for inducing neuronal differentiation of TM-MSCs cultivated on core-shell scaffold.


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