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Functionalized carbon nanotubes as suitable scaffold materials for proliferation and differentiation of canine mesenchymal stem cells

Authors Das K, Madhusoodan AP, Mili B, Kumar A, Saxena AC, Kumar K, Sarkar M, Singh P, Shrivastava S, Bag S

Received 21 September 2016

Accepted for publication 19 January 2017

Published 19 April 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3235—3252


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Kinsuk Das,1 AP Madhusoodan,1 Bhabesh Mili,1 Ajay Kumar,2 AC Saxena,3 Kuldeep Kumar,1 Mihir Sarkar,1 Praveen Singh,4 Sameer Srivastava,5 Sadhan Bag1

1Division of Physiology and Climatology, 2Biochemistry and Food Science Section, 3Division of Surgery, 4Biophysics, Electron Microscopy and Instrumentation Section, 5Division of Veterinary Biotechnology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract: In the field of regenerative medicine, numerous potential applications of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be envisaged, due to their ability to differentiate into a range of tissues on the basis of the substrate on which they grow. With the advances in nanotechnology, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been widely explored for use as cell culture substrate in tissue engineering applications. In this study, canine bone marrow-derived MSCs were considered as the cellular model for an in vitro study to elucidate the collective cellular processes, using three different varieties of thin films of functionalized carbon nanotubes (COOH-single-walled CNTs [SWCNTs], COOH-multiwalled CNTs [MWCNTs] and polyethylene glycol [PEG]-SWCNTs), which were spray dried onto preheated cover slips. Cells spread out better on the CNT films, resulting in higher cell surface area and occurrence of filopodia, with parallel orientation of stress fiber bundles. Canine MSCs proliferated at a slower rate on all types of CNT substrates compared to the control, but no decline in cell number was noticed during the study period. Expression of apoptosis-associated genes decreased on the CNT substrates as time progressed. On flow cytometry after AnnexinV-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide (PI) staining, total number of apoptotic and necrotic cells remained lower in COOH-functionalized films compared to PEG-functionalized ones. Collectively, these results indicate that COOH-MWCNT substrate provided an environment of low cytotoxicity. Canine MSCs were further induced to differentiate along osteogenic, chondrogenic, and neuronal lineages by culturing under specific differentiation conditions. The cytochemical and immunocytochemical staining results, as well as the expression of the bone marker genes, led us to hypothesize that the COOH-MWCNT substrate acted as a better cue, accelerating the osteogenic differentiation process. However, while chondrogenesis was promoted by COOH-SWCNT, neuronal differentiation was promoted by both COOH-SWNCT and COOH-MWCNT. Taken together, these findings suggest that COOH-functionalized CNTs represent a promising scaffold component for future utilization in the selective differentiation of canine MSCs in regenerative medicine.

Keywords: canine MSCs, CNT films, cellular behavior, cytocompatibility, differentiation

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