What is Stem Cell Recruitment?

Tissue Engineering

Tissue repair and regeneration involve cell proliferation as well as the selective recruitment of circulating stem and progenitor cell populations through complex cell signaling. Thanks to modern technology, the evolution of tissue engineering was born. “Tissue engineering was developed from biomaterials and refers to the practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues”. Our Stem Cell Recruitment™ products utilize tissue engineering, and the products’ unique designs come from biomimetic scaffolds that stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms through the recruitment of endogenous stem cells to sites of injury.

Russell Health’s approach towards controlling stem cell recruitment occurs through the design of our growth factor releasing-platforms. “Growth factors are soluble signaling proteins that control a wide variety of cellular responses through specific binding of transmembrane receptors on target cells.”

Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM)

According to Franz et. al, extra cellular matrix (ECM) based materials from “decellularized tissues hold great promise in the field of tissue engineering as a subset of naturally derived materials. ECM can induce the biological responses necessary to facilitate the spatiotemporally controlled recruitment and migration of stem cells. ECM is the acellular component of tissues which provides a suitable microenvironment for cells and offers the necessary cues for their proliferation, adhesion, differentiation, migration, and viability. Additionally, acellular ECM materials retain the structure of their native tissue, which leaves these matrices with the chemical and mechanical cues that help to modulate stem cell behavior”.

The possibility to deliver the ECM-based scaffold by injection through this approach represents a great advantage for their translation into the clinic, as it can reduce the risk of embolization when using catheters to access the coronary arteries. Moreover, this approach could be beneficial for patients that cannot be treated with catheters due to a compromised artery network.

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McArdle A, Paik KJ, Chung MT, Hu MS, Walmsley G, et al. (2013) Manipulation of Stem Cells and their Microenvironment for Tissue Engineering. Surgery Curr Res 3:134. doi: 10.4172/2161-1076.1000134

Future of Stem Cell Recruitment

The complex cell signaling between the immune response and growth factors activity needs to be further investigated. In fact, the process of stem cell recruitment is generally controlled by the inflammatory state of the injured tissue. The growth factors in the Stem Cell Recruitment™ products perform the bulk of the work because of their ability to directly elicit and orchestrate tissue regeneration. “They in turn direct the body’s stem cells through the body’s inflammation response and utilize the cytokines, ECM proteins together to begin regeneration.” Further investigation and more efforts in this direction can pave the way for the development of more sophisticated designs where the presence of multiple inflammatory factors can precisely control the process of stem cell recruitment.