Stability enhancement using hyaluronic acid gels for delivery of human fetal progenitor tenocytes
Tendon afflictions are very common, and their negative impact is high both at the workplace and in leisure activities. Tendinopathies are increasing in prevalence and can lead to tendon ruptures, where healing is a long process with outcomes that are often disappointing. Human fetal progenitor tenocytes (hFPTs) have been recently tested in vitro as a potential cell source to stimulate tendon regeneration. The aim of the present study was to compare different commercial hyaluronic acid (HA) gels, which could be used to resuspend hFPTs in a formulation that would allow for good delivery of the cells. No medium or growth supplement was used in the formulation in order to make it therapeutically dispensable. These conditions are stringent for cells, but surprisingly, we found that different formulations could allow a good survival for up to 3 days when stored at 4°C (refrigerator stable). The gels must allow a good survival of the cells in parallel with a good stability of the preparation over time and sufficient viscosity to remain in place if deposited on a wounded location. Moreover, the cells must conserve their ability to attach and to proliferate. hFPTs were able to survive and to recover from all of the tested gels, but some products showed some advantages over others in terms of survival and viscosity. Finally, the Ostenil Tendon HA gel fulfilled all of the requirements and presented the best compromise between a good survival and sufficient rheological characteristics to create an interesting cell delivery system.