Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
SDF-1α Gene-Activated Collagen Scaffold Restores...._.pdf (3.2 MB)

SDF-1α gene-activated collagen scaffold restores pro-angiogenic wound healing features in human diabetic adipose-derived stem cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-11, 17:09 authored by Ashang L Laiva, Fergal O'BrienFergal O'Brien, Michael B Keogh
Non-healing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) can lead to leg amputation in diabetic patients. Autologous stem cell therapy holds some potential to solve this problem; however, diabetic stem cells are relatively dysfunctional and restrictive in their wound healing abilities. This study sought to explore if a novel collagen-chondroitin sulfate (coll-CS) scaffold, functionalized with polyplex nanoparticles carrying the gene encoding for stromal-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α gene-activated scaffold), can enhance the regenerative functionality of human diabetic adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). We assessed the impact of the gene-activated scaffold on diabetic ADSCs by comparing their response against healthy ADSCs cultured on a gene-free scaffold over two weeks. Overall, we found that the gene-activated scaffold could restore the pro-angiogenic regenerative response in the human diabetic ADSCs similar to the healthy ADSCs on the gene-free scaffold. Gene and protein expression analysis revealed that the gene-activated scaffold induced the overexpression of SDF-1α in diabetic ADSCs and engaged the receptor CXCR7, causing downstream β-arrestin signaling, as effectively as the transfected healthy ADSCs. The transfected diabetic ADSCs also exhibited pro-wound healing features characterized by active matrix remodeling of the provisional fibronectin matrix and basement membrane protein collagen IV. The gene-activated scaffold also induced a controlled pro-healing response in the healthy ADSCs by disabling early developmental factors signaling while promoting the expression of tissue remodeling components. Conclusively, we show that the SDF-1α gene-activated scaffold can overcome the deficiencies associated with diabetic ADSCs, paving the way for autologous stem cell therapies combined with novel biomaterials to treat DFUs.


RCSI Dilmun Ph.D. scholarship



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Published Citation

Laiva AL, O'Brien FJ, Keogh MB. SDF-1α gene-activated collagen scaffold restores pro-angiogenic wound healing features in human diabetic adipose-derived stem cells. Biomedicines. 2021;9(2):160

Publication Date

6 February 2021

PubMed ID



  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
  • RCSI Bahrain
  • Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)

Research Area

  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences




  • Published Version (Version of Record)