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1.  A Simple and Highly Effective Method for Slow-Freezing Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Dimethyl Sulfoxide, Hydroxyethyl Starch and Ethylene Glycol 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88696.
Vitrification and slow-freezing methods have been used for the cryopreservation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Vitrification requires considerable skill and post-thaw recovery is low. Furthermore, it is not suitable for cryopreservation of large numbers of hPSCs. While slow-freezing methods for hPSCs are easy to perform, they are usually preceded by a complicated cell dissociation process that yields poor post-thaw survival. To develop a robust and easy slow-freezing method for hPSCs, several different cryopreservation cocktails were prepared by modifying a commercially available freezing medium (CP-1™) containing hydroxyethyl starch (HES), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in saline. The new freezing media were examined for their cryopreservation efficacy in combination with several different cell detachment methods. hPSCs in cryopreservation medium were slowly cooled in a conventional −80°C freezer and thawed rapidly. hPSC colonies were dissociated with several proteases. Ten percent of the colonies were passaged without cryopreservation and another 10% were cryopreserved, and then the recovery ratio was determined by comparing the number of Alkaline Phosphatase-positive colonies after thawing at day 5 with those passaged without cryopreservation at day 5. We found that cell detachment with Pronase/EDTA followed by cryopreservation using 6% HES, 5% DMSO, and 5% ethylene glycol (EG) in saline (termed CP-5E) achieved post-thaw recoveries over 80%. In summary, we have developed a new cryopreservation medium free of animal products for slow-freezing. This easy and robust cryopreservation method could be used widely for basic research and for clinical application.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088696
PMCID: PMC3922972  PMID: 24533137
2.  Evaluation of Methylcellulose and Dimethyl Sulfoxide as the Cryoprotectants in a Serum-Free Freezing Media for Cryopreservation of Adipose-Derived Adult Stem Cells 
Stem Cells and Development  2010;19(4):513-522.
Developing effective techniques for the cryopreservation of human adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs) could increase the usefulness of these cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. To this end, we investigated the post-freeze/thaw viability and apoptotic behavior of Passage 1 (P1) adult stem cells (ASCs) in 11 different media: (i) the traditional media containing Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) with 80% fetal calf serum (FCS) and 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), (ii) DMEM with 80% human serum (HS) and 10% DMSO, (iii) DMEM with 1% methyl cellulose (MC) and 10% of either HS or FCS or DMSO, and (iv) DMEM with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% DMSO. Approximately 1 mL (106 cells/mL) of P1 ASCs were frozen overnight in a −80°C freezer and stored in liquid nitrogen for 2 weeks before being rapidly thawed in a 37°C water bath (1–2 min of agitation), resuspended in culture media, and seeded in separate wells of a 6-well plate for a 24-h incubation period at 37°C. After 24 h, the thawed samples were analyzed by bright-field microscopy and flow cytometry. The results suggest that the absence of DMSO (and the presence of MC) significantly increases the fraction of apoptotic and/or necrotic ASCs. However, the percentage of viable cells obtained with 2% DMSO and DMEM was comparable with that obtained in freezing media with 10% DMSO and 80% serum (HS or FCS), that is, ∼84% ± 5% and ∼84% ± 8%, respectively. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation behavior of the frozen thawed cells was also assessed using histochemical staining. Our results suggest that post-thaw ASC viability, adipogenic and osteogenic differentiability can be maintained even when they are frozen in the absence of serum but with a minimal concentration of 2% DMSO in DMEM.
doi:10.1089/scd.2009.0173
PMCID: PMC3139530  PMID: 19788372
3.  An effective serum- and xeno-free chemically defined freezing procedure for human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells 
Human Reproduction (Oxford, England)  2010;25(5):1271-1279.
BACKGROUND
Both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) bear a great potential in regenerative medicine. In addition to optimized clinical grade culture conditions, efficient clinical grade cryopreservation methods for these cells are needed. Obtaining good survival after thawing has been problematic.
METHODS
We used a novel, chemically defined effective xeno-free cryopreservation system for cryostorage and banking of hESCs and iPSCs. The earlier established slow freezing protocols have, even after recent improvements, resulted in low viability and thawed cells had a high tendency to differentiate. The medium is a completely serum and animal substance free product containing dimethylsulfoxide, anhydrous dextrose and a polymer as cryoprotectants. The cells were directly frozen at −70°C, without a programmed freezer.
RESULTS
The number of frozen colonies versus the number of surviving colonies differed significantly for both HS293 (χ2 = 9.616 with one degree of freedom and two-tailed P = 0.0019) and HS306 (χ2 = 8.801 with one degree of freedom and two-tailed P = 0.0030). After thawing, the cells had a high viability (90–96%) without any impact on proliferation and differentiation, compared with the standard freezing procedure where viability was much lower (49%). The frozen–thawed hESCs and iPSCs had normal karyotype and maintained properties of pluripotent cells with corresponding morphological characteristics, and expressed pluripotency markers after 10 passages in culture. They formed teratomas containing tissue components of the three germ layers.
CONCLUSION
The defined freezing–thawing system described here offers an excellent simple option for banking of hESCs and iPSCs.
doi:10.1093/humrep/deq040
PMCID: PMC2854046  PMID: 20208061
human embryonic stem cells; defined; cryopreservation; survival; differentiation
4.  Cryopreservation in Trehalose Preserves Functional Capacity of Murine Spermatogonial Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54889.
Development of techniques to isolate, culture, and transplant human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) has the future potential to treat male infertility. To maximize the efficiency of these techniques, methods for SSC cryopreservation need to be developed to bank SSCs for extended periods of time. Although, it has been demonstrated that SSCs can reinitiate spermatogenesis after freezing, optimal cryopreservation protocols that maximize SSC proliferative capacity post-thaw have not been identified. The objective of this study was to develop an efficient cryopreservation technique for preservation of SSCs. To identify efficient cryopreservation methods for long-term preservation of SSCs, isolated testis cells enriched for SSCs were placed in medium containing dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or DMSO and trehalose (50 mM, 100 mM, or 200 mM), and frozen in liquid nitrogen for 1 week, 1 month, or 3 months. Freezing in 50 mM trehalose resulted in significantly higher cell viability compared to DMSO at all thawing times and a higher proliferation rate compared to DMSO for the 1 week freezing period. Freezing in 200 mM trehalose did not result in increased cell viability; however, proliferation activity was significantly higher and percentage of apoptotic cells was significantly lower compared to DMSO after freezing for 1 and 3 months. To confirm the functionality of SSCs frozen in 200 mM trehalose, SSC transplantation was performed. Donor SSCs formed spermatogenic colonies and sperm capable of generating normal progeny. Collectively, these results indicate that freezing in DMSO with 200 mM trehalose serves as an efficient method for the cryopreservation of SSCs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054889
PMCID: PMC3551902  PMID: 23349986
5.  Evaluation of Distinct Freezing Methods and Cryoprotectants for Human Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells Cryopreservation 
Amniotic fluid (AF) was described as a potential source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for biomedicine purposes. Therefore, evaluation of alternative cryoprotectants and freezing protocols capable to maintain the viability and stemness of these cells after cooling is still needed. AF stem cells (AFSCs) were tested for different freezing methods and cryoprotectants. Cell viability, gene expression, surface markers, and plasticity were evaluated after thawing. AFSCs expressed undifferentiated genes Oct4 and Nanog; presented typical markers (CD29, CD44, CD90, and CD105) and were able to differentiate into mesenchymal lineages. All tested cryoprotectants preserved the features of AFSCs however, variations in cell viability were observed. In this concern, dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO) showed the best results. The freezing protocols tested did not promote significant changes in the AFSCs viability. Time programmed and nonprogrammed freezing methods could be used for successful AFSCs cryopreservation for 6 months. Although tested cryoprotectants maintained undifferentiated gene expression, typical markers, and plasticity of AFSCs, only Me2SO and glycerol presented workable viability ratios.
doi:10.1155/2012/649353
PMCID: PMC3361720  PMID: 22665987
6.  Circulating Angiogenic Cells can be Derived from Cryopreserved Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48067.
Background
Cell transplantation for regenerative medicine has become an appealing therapeutic method; however, stem and progenitor cells are not always freshly available. Cryopreservation offers a way to freeze cells as they are generated, for storage and transport until required for therapy. This study was performed to assess the feasibility of cryopreserving peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for the subsequent in vitro generation of their derived therapeutic population, circulating angiogenic cells (CACs).
Methods
PBMCs were isolated from healthy human donors. Freshly isolated cells were either analyzed immediately or cryopreserved in media containing 6% plasma serum and 5% dimethyl sulfoxide. PBMCs were thawed after being frozen for 1 (early thaw) or 28 (late thaw) days and analyzed, or cultured for 4 days to generate CACs. Analysis of the cells consisted of flow cytometry for viability and phenotype, as well as functional assays for their adhesion and migration potential, cytokine secretion, and in vivo angiogenic potential.
Results
The viability of PBMCs and CACs as well as their adhesion and migration properties did not differ greatly after cryopreservation. Phenotypic changes did occur in PBMCs and to a lesser extent in CACs after freezing; however the potent CD34+VEGFR2+CD133+ population remained unaffected. The derived CACs, while exhibiting changes in inflammatory cytokine secretion, showed no changes in the secretion of important regenerative and chemotactic cytokines, nor in their ability to restore perfusion in ischemic muscle.
Conclusion
Overall, it appears that changes do occur in cryopreserved PBMCs and their generated CACs; however, the CD34+VEGFR2+CD133+ progenitor population, the secretion of pro-vasculogenic factors, and the in vivo angiogenic potential of CACs remain unaffected by cryopreservation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048067
PMCID: PMC3483876  PMID: 23133548
7.  Storage of hemopoietic stem cells 
Background:
Autologous, and in some cases allogeneic, hemopoietic stem cells (HSC) are stored for varying periods of time prior to infusion. For periods of greater than 48 h, storage requires cryopreservation. It is essential to optimize cell storage and ensure the quality of the product for subsequent reinfusion.
Methods:
A number of important variables may affect the subsequent quality of infused HSC and therapeutic cells (TC). This review discusses these and also reviews the regulatory framework that now aims to ensure the quality of stem cells and TC for transplantation.
Results:
Important variables included cell concentration, temperature, interval from collection to cryopreservation, manipulations performed. They also included rate of freezing and whether controlled-rate freezing was employed. Parameters studied were type of cryoprotectant utilized [dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) is most commonly used, sometimes in combination with hydroxyethyl starch (HES)]; and storage conditions. It is also important to assess the quality of stored stem cells. Measurements employed included the total cell count (TNC), mononuclear cell count (MNC), CD34+ cells and colony-forming units - granulocyte macrophage (CFU-GM). Of these, TNC and CD34+ are the most useful. However, the best measure of the quality of stored stem cells is their subsequent engraftment. The quality systems used in stem cell laboratories are described in the guidance of the Joint Accreditation Committee of ISCT (Europe) and the EBMT (JACIE) and the EU Directive on Tissues and Cells plus its supporting commission directives. Inspections of facilities are carried out by the appropriate national agencies and JACIE.
Conclusion:
For high-quality storage of HSC and TC, processing facilities should use validated procedures that take into account critical variables. The quality of all products must be assessed before and after storage.
doi:10.4103/0973-6247.33848
PMCID: PMC3168124  PMID: 21938237
Accreditation; cryopreservation; hemopoietic stem cells; regulatory authorities
8.  Controlled-rate freezer cryopreservation of highly concentrated peripheral blood mononuclear cells results in higher cell yields and superior autologous T-cell stimulation for dendritic cell-based immunotherapy 
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy  2012;61(11):2021-2031.
Availability of large quantities of functionally effective dendritic cells (DC) represents one of the major challenges for immunotherapeutic trials against infectious or malignant diseases. Low numbers or insufficient T-cell activation of DC may result in premature termination of treatment and unsatisfying immune responses in clinical trials. Based on the notion that cryopreservation of monocytes is superior to cryopreservation of immature or mature DC in terms of resulting DC quantity and immuno-stimulatory capacity, we aimed to establish an optimized protocol for the cryopreservation of highly concentrated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) for DC-based immunotherapy. Cryopreserved cell preparations were analyzed regarding quantitative recovery, viability, phenotype, and functional properties. In contrast to standard isopropyl alcohol (IPA) freezing, PBMC cryopreservation in an automated controlled-rate freezer (CRF) with subsequent thawing and differentiation resulted in significantly higher cell yields of immature and mature DC. Immature DC yields and total protein content after using CRF were comparable with results obtained with freshly prepared PBMC and exceeded results of standard IPA freezing by approximately 50 %. While differentiation markers, allogeneic T-cell stimulation, viability, and cytokine profiles were similar to DC from standard freezing procedures, DC generated from CRF-cryopreserved PBMC induced a significantly higher antigen-specific IFN-γ release from autologous effector T cells. In summary, automated controlled-rate freezing of highly concentrated PBMC represents an improved method for increasing DC yields and autologous T-cell stimulation.
doi:10.1007/s00262-012-1262-0
PMCID: PMC3493671  PMID: 22527251
DC; Dendritic cells; Cryopreservation; Cellular immunotherapy; Cell yields
9.  Thermomechanical analysis of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions in engineered tissues 
Successful cryopreservation of functional engineered tissues (ETs) is significant to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but it is extremely challenging to develop a successful protocol because the effects of cryopreservation parameters on the post-thaw functionality of ETs are not well understood. Particularly, the effects on the microstructure of their extracellular matrix (ECM) have not been well studied, which determines many functional properties of the ETs. In this study, we investigated the effects of two key cryopreservation parameters – i) freezing temperature and corresponding cooling rate; and ii) the concentration of cryoprotective agent (CPA) on the ECM microstructure as well as the cellular viability. Using dermal equivalent as a model ET and DMSO as a model CPA, freezing-induced spatiotemporal deformation and post-thaw ECM microstructure of ETs was characterized while varying the freezing temperature and DMSO concentrations. The spatial distribution of cellular viability and the cellular actin cytoskeleton was also examined. The results showed that the tissue dilatation increased significantly with reduced freezing temperature (i.e., rapid freezing). A maximum limit of tissue deformation was observed for preservation of ECM microstructure, cell viability and cell-matrix adhesion. The dilatation decreased with the use of DMSO, and a freezing temperature dependent threshold concentration of DMSO was observed. The threshold DMSO concentration increased with lowering freezing temperature. In addition, an analysis was performed to delineate thermodynamic and mechanical components of freezing-induced tissue deformation. The results are discussed to establish a mechanistic understanding of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interaction and phase change behavior within ETs in order to improve cryopreservation of ETs.
doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.10.014
PMCID: PMC3586257  PMID: 23246556
Cryopreservation; Tissue microstructure; Extracellular matrix; Cell image deformetry; Differential scanning calorimetry; Cryoprotective agents
10.  The Effects of 17-β Estradiol on Enhancing Proliferation of Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells In Vitro 
Stem Cells and Development  2010;20(5):925-931.
Human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) with self-renewal and multiple differentiation potentials are considered a possible cell source for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However, the limited amount of MSCs in bone marrow and the loss of differentiation capacity following in vitro expansion restrict their practical application. Effective improvement of MSC proliferation is necessary for the clinical application of MSC-based tissue engineering. The effects of estrogen supplements on proliferation and characterizations of human MSCs were investigated at the present study. Supplements of 17-β estradiol (E2) significantly increase the proliferation of human MSCs in vitro. The dose range of E2 to significantly increase MSC proliferation differs in the gender of MSC donor. E2 supplementation in cell proliferation maintains characterizations of MSCs, including cell surface markers, and osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation capacities. These data indicate that estrogen treatment can play an important role in improving human MSCs' expansion in vitro, which will effectively facilitate MSCs' function in the practical application of tissue engineering and regeneration.
doi:10.1089/scd.2010.0125
PMCID: PMC3128766  PMID: 20735179
11.  Bone regeneration of mouse critical-sized calvarial defects with human mesenchymal stem cells in scaffold 
Laboratory Animal Research  2013;29(4):196-203.
Combination of tissue engineering and cell therapy represents a promising approach for bone regeneration. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have properties that include low immunogenicity, high proliferation rate, and multi-differentiation potential; therefore, they are an attractive seeding source for tissue engineering therapy. Here we found that hMSCs with a scaffold did not affect cell viability and osteogenic differentiation. We also investigated regenerative effect of hMSCs with the scaffold in a calvarial bone defect model. Formation of new bone was evaluated by micro-CT, histology and expression of osteogenic markers. The results clearly showed interesting evidence indicating that hMSCs with scaffold increased the formation of new bone and expression of osteogenic markers, compared to the empty and scaffold only groups. Overall, our results suggest that hMSCs with scaffold are suitable for stimulation of intense bone regeneration in critical-sized bone defects.
doi:10.5625/lar.2013.29.4.196
PMCID: PMC3879338  PMID: 24396384
Human mesenchymal stem cells; scaffold; bone regeneration; calvarial bone defect
12.  A Comparative Analysis of the In Vitro Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Treatment on Osteogenic Differentiation of Two Different Mesenchymal Cell Lineages 
BioResearch Open Access  2013;2(4):283-294.
Abstract
Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising candidate cell type for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. Exposure of MSCs to physical stimuli favors early and rapid activation of the tissue repair process. In this study we investigated the in vitro effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) treatment on the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSCs) and adipose-tissue MSCs (ASCs), to assess if both types of MSCs could be indifferently used in combination with PEMF exposure for bone tissue healing. We compared the cell viability, cell matrix distribution, and calcified matrix production in unstimulated and PEMF-stimulated (magnetic field: 2 mT, amplitude: 5 mV) mesenchymal cell lineages. After PEMF exposure, in comparison with ASCs, BM-MSCs showed an increase in cell proliferation (p<0.05) and an enhanced deposition of extracellular matrix components such as decorin, fibronectin, osteocalcin, osteonectin, osteopontin, and type-I and -III collagens (p<0.05). Calcium deposition was 1.5-fold greater in BM-MSC–derived osteoblasts (p<0.05). The immunofluorescence related to the deposition of bone matrix proteins and calcium showed their colocalization to the cell-rich areas for both types of MSC-derived osteoblast. Alkaline phosphatase activity increased nearly 2-fold (p<0.001) and its protein content was 1.2-fold higher in osteoblasts derived from BM-MSCs. The quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed up-regulated transcription specific for bone sialoprotein, osteopontin, osteonectin, and Runx2, but at a higher level for cells differentiated from BM-MSCs. All together these results suggest that PEMF promotion of bone extracellular matrix deposition is more efficient in osteoblasts differentiated from BM-MSCs.
doi:10.1089/biores.2013.0016
PMCID: PMC3731679  PMID: 23914335
human adipose-derived stem cells; human mesenchymal stem cells; osteogenic differentiation; pulsed electromagnetic field
13.  Reversible Disassembly of the Actin Cytoskeleton Improves the Survival Rate and Developmental Competence of Cryopreserved Mouse Oocytes 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2787.
Effective cryopreservation of oocytes is critically needed in many areas of human reproductive medicine and basic science, such as stem cell research. Currently, oocyte cryopreservation has a low success rate. The goal of this study was to understand the mechanisms associated with oocyte cryopreservation through biophysical means using a mouse model. Specifically, we experimentally investigated the biomechanical properties of the ooplasm prior and after cryopreservation as well as the consequences of reversible dismantling of the F-actin network in mouse oocytes prior to freezing. The study was complemented with the evaluation of post-thaw developmental competence of oocytes after in vitro fertilization. Our results show that the freezing-thawing process markedly alters the physiological viscoelastic properties of the actin cytoskeleton. The reversible depolymerization of the F-actin network prior to freezing preserves normal ooplasm viscoelastic properties, results in high post-thaw survival and significantly improves developmental competence. These findings provide new information on the biophysical characteristics of mammalian oocytes, identify a pathophysiological mechanism underlying cryodamage and suggest a novel cryopreservation method.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002787
PMCID: PMC2467491  PMID: 18665248
14.  Cryopreserved mesenchymal stromal cells display impaired immunosuppressive properties as a result of heat-shock response and impaired interferon-γ licensing 
Cytotherapy  2011;14(2):147-152.
Human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) can suppress T-cell activation in vitro in an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO)-dependent manner. However, their clinical effects on immune ailments have been inconsistent, with a recent phase III study showing no benefit in acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). We here tested the hypothesis that the banked, cryopreserved MSC often used in clinical trials display biologic properties distinct from that of MSC in the log phase of growth typically examined in pre-clinical studies. In freshly thawed cryopreserved MSC derived from normal human volunteers, we observed that MSC up-regulate heat-shock proteins, are refractory to interferon (IFN)-γ-induced up-regulation of IDO, and are compromised in suppressing CD3/CD28-driven T cell proliferation. Immune suppressor activity, IFN-γ responsiveness and induction of IDO were fully restored following 24 h of MSC tissue culture post-thaw. These results highlight a possible cause for the inefficacy of MSC-based immunotherapy reported in clinical trials using cryopreserved MSC thawed immediately prior to infusion.
doi:10.3109/14653249.2011.623691
PMCID: PMC3279133  PMID: 22029655
cryopreservation; immunosuppression; immunotherapy; indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; interferon-gamma; mesenchymal stromal cells
15.  Effects of Expanded Human Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on the Viability of Cryopreserved Fat Grafts in the Nude Mouse 
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AdMSCs) augment the ability to contribute to microvascular remodeling in vivo and to modulate vascular stability in fresh fat grafts. Although cryopreserved adipose tissue is frequently used for soft tissue augmentation, the viability of the fat graft is poor. The effects of culture-expanded human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAdMSCs) on the survival and quality of the cryopreserved fat graft were determined. hAdMSCs from the same donor were mixed with fat tissues cryopreserved at -70°C for 8 weeks and injected subcutaneously into 6-week-old BALB/c-nu nude mice. Graft volume and weight were measured, and histology was evaluated 4 and 15 weeks post-transplantation. The hAdMSC-treated group showed significantly enhanced graft volume and weight. The histological evaluation demonstrated significantly better fat cell integrity compared with the vehicle-treated control 4 weeks post-transplantation. No significant difference in graft weight, volume, or histological parameters was found among the groups 15 weeks post-transplantation. The hAdMSCs enhanced the survival and quality of transplanted cryopreserved fat tissues. Cultured and expanded hAdMSCs have reconstructive capacity in cryopreserved fat grafting by increasing the number of stem cells.
PMCID: PMC3065792  PMID: 21448310
Human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAdMSCs); cryopreserved fat tissues; viability of fat grafts; dose-dependent.
16.  Solid-surface vitrification is an appropriate and convenient method for cryopreservation of isolated rat follicles 
Background
Cryopreservation of isolated follicles may be a potential option to restore fertility in young women with cancer, because it can prevent the risks of cancer transmission. Several freezing protocols are available, including slow-rate freezing, open-pulled straws vitrification (OPS) and solid-surface vitrification (SSV, a new freezing technique). The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of these freezing procedures on viability, ultrastructure and developmental capacity of isolated rat follicles.
Methods
Isolated follicles from female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to SSV, OPS and slow-rate freezing groups for cryopreservation. Follicle viability assessment and ultrastructural examination were performed after thawing. In order to study the developmental capacity of thawed follicles, we performed in vitro culture with a three-dimensional (3D) system by alginate hydrogels.
Results
Our results showed that the totally viable rate of follicles vitrified by SSV (64.76%) was slightly higher than that of the OPS group (62.38%) and significantly higher than that of the slow-rate freezing group (52.65%; P < 0.05). The ultrastructural examination revealed that morphological alterations were relatively low in the SSV group compared to the OPS and slow-rate freezing groups. After in vitro culture within a 3D system using alginate hydrogels, we found the highest increase (28.90 ± 2.21 μm) in follicle diameter in follicles from the SSV group. The estradiol level in the SSV group was significantly higher than those in the OPS and slow-rate freezing groups at the end of a 72-hr culture period (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the SSV method is an appropriate and convenient method for cryopreservation of isolated rat follicles compared with the conventional slow-rate freezing method and the OPS method.
doi:10.1186/1477-7827-8-42
PMCID: PMC2887875  PMID: 20459796
17.  Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 or Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Transfection of Aged Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Enhances Cell Therapy after Myocardial Infarction 
Rejuvenation Research  2012;15(5):495-506.
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been proposed as a potential therapeutic approach for ischemic heart disease, but the regenerative capacity of these cells decreases with age. In this study, we genetically engineered old human MSCs (O-hMSCs) with tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP3) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and evaluated the effects on the efficacy of cell-based gene therapy in a rat myocardial infarction (MI) model. Cultured O-hMSCs were transfected with TIMP3 (O-TIMP3) or VEGF (O-VEGF) and compared with young hMSCs (Y-hMSCs) and non-transfected O-hMSCs for growth, clonogenic capacity, and differentiation potential. In vivo, rats were subjected to left coronary artery ligation with subsequent injection of Y-hMSCs, O-hMSCs, O-TIMP3, O-VEGF, or medium. Echocardiography was performed prior to and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after MI. Myocardial levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2), MMP9, TIMP3, and VEGF were assessed at 1 week. Hemodynamics, morphology, and histology were measured at 4 weeks. In vitro, genetically modified O-hMSCs showed no changes in growth, colony formation, or multi-differentiation capacity. In vivo, transplantation with O-TIMP3, O-VEGF, or Y-hMSCs increased capillary density, preserved cardiac function, and reduced infarct size compared to O-hMSCs and medium control. O-TIMP3 and O-VEGF transplantation enhanced TIMP3 and VEGF expression, respectively, in the treated animals. O-hMSCs genetically modified with TIMP3 or VEGF can increase angiogenesis, prevent adverse matrix remodeling, and restore cardiac function to a degree similar to Y-hMSCs. This gene-modified cell therapy strategy may be a promising clinical treatment to rejuvenate stem cells in elderly patients.
doi:10.1089/rej.2012.1325
PMCID: PMC3482878  PMID: 22950427
18.  Impact of Procedural Steps and Cryopreservation Agents in the Cryopreservation of Chlorophyte Microalgae 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78668.
The maintenance of traditional microalgae collections based on liquid and solid media is labour intensive, costly and subject to contamination and genetic drift. Cryopreservation is therefore the method of choice for the maintenance of microalgae culture collections, but success is limited for many species. Although the mechanisms underlying cryopreservation are understood in general, many technical variations are present in the literature and the impact of these are not always elaborated. This study describes two-step cryopreservation processes in which 3 microalgae strains representing different cell sizes were subjected to various experimental approaches to cryopreservation, the aim being to investigate mechanistic factors affecting cell viability. Sucrose and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were used as cryoprotectants. They were found to have a synergistic effect in the recovery of cryopreserved samples of many algal strains, with 6.5% being the optimum DMSO concentration. The effect of sucrose was shown to be due to improved cell survival and recovery after thawing by comparing the effect of sucrose on cell viability before or after cryopreservation. Additional factors with a beneficial effect on recovery were the elimination of centrifugation steps (minimizing cell damage), the reduction of cell concentration (which is proposed to reduce the generation of toxic cell wall components) and the use of low light levels during the recovery phase (proposed to reduce photooxidative damage). The use of the best conditions for each of these variables yielded an improved protocol which allowed the recovery and subsequent improved culture viability of a further 16 randomly chosen microalgae strains. These isolates included species from Chlorellaceae, Palmellaceae, Tetrasporaceae, Palmellopsis, Scenedesmaceae and Chlamydomonadaceae that differed greatly in cell diameter (3–50 µm), a variable that can affect cryopreservation success. The collective improvement of each of these parameters yielded a cryopreservation protocol that can be applied to a broad range of microalgae.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078668
PMCID: PMC3823882  PMID: 24244336
19.  Analysis of the Viability of Umbilical Cord blood Stem Cells 
The investigations on sources and viability of stem cells are important as stem cell transplantation has shown promising results in diseases like leukemias and lymphomas. Umbilical cord blood samples were collected in a closed aseptic system. The samples were diluted with phosphate buffered saline, treated with ficol and centrifuged at 15,000 rpm for the recovery of progenitor stem cells.The stem cells were cryopreserved with different media Containing DMSO, patient’s serum and human albumin.The viability of the cells was studied by dye exclusion method. Suitable media are necessary for optimal cryoprotection and prevention of cryoinjury DMSO is essential for improved cryopreservation and post-thaw quality. The addition of a protein additive also provides a protective effect. The medium containing DMSO, DMEM and patient’s serum proved to be the most effective for cryopreservation and viability as high as 82.4% was achieved after one year. The unique findings of the present study are that the addition of patient’s serum enhances the cryoprotection and cord blood stem cells can be stored at -20°C for the duration up to two months instead of the requirement of storage at ultralow temperature at -186°C.
PMCID: PMC3908141
UCB; Viability; Stem cells; Media
20.  Modulation of Osteogenesis in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Specific Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Stimulation 
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a promising candidate cell type for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications by virtue of their capacity for self-renewal and multipotent differentiation. Our intent was to characterize the effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) on the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs in vitro. hMSCs isolated from the bone marrow of adult patients were cultured with osteogenic medium for up to 28 days and exposed to daily PEMF stimulation with single, narrow 300 μs quasi-rectangular pulses with a repetition rate of 7.5 Hz. Relatively greater cell numbers were observed at late stages of osteogenic culture with PEMF exposure. The production of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an early marker of osteogenesis, was significantly enhanced at day 7 with PEMF treatment in both basal and osteogenic cultures as compared to untreated controls. Furthermore, the expressions of other early osteogenic genes, including Runx2/Cbfa1 and ALP, were also partially modulated by PEMF exposure, indicating that osteogenesis in hMSCs was associated with the specific PEMF stimulation. Based on ALP and alizarin red S staining, the accumulation of ALP protein produced by the hMSCs as well as calcium deposits reached their highest levels at day 28. Our results indicate that extremely low frequency PEMF stimulation may play a modulating role in hMSC osteogenesis. Taken together, these findings provide insights on the development of PEMF as an effective technology for regenerative medicine.
doi:10.1002/jor.20862
PMCID: PMC2746855  PMID: 19274753
pulsed electromagnetic field; osteogenesis; human mesenchymal stem cells; proliferation; mineralization
21.  Safety of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Clinical Application 
Stem Cells International  2012;2012:652034.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise as therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine and autoimmune diseases, based on their differentiation abilities and immunosuppressive properties. However, the therapeutic applications raise a series of questions about the safety of culture-expanded MSCs for human use. This paper summarized recent findings about safety issues of MSCs, in particular their genetic stability in long-term in vitro expansion, their cryopreservation, banking, and the role of serum in the preparation of MSCs.
doi:10.1155/2012/652034
PMCID: PMC3363282  PMID: 22685475
22.  The Future Potential of Cryopreservation for Assisted Reproduction 
Cryobiology  2009;60(3S):S60-S65.
Cryopreservation of human gonadal tissue and oocytes has brought about new and exciting research in reproductive medicine, as well as new cryopreservation techniques that are dramatically improving post-thaw viability and freezing damage. The work done on gonadal tissues is aimed at improving the quality of life for infertile patients and for prepubertal patients undergoing gonadotoxic chemotherapy, patients for whom hormonal stimulation /IVF is not an option, and women without partners. Cryopreservation of mature oocytes is the best model for timing IVF. Vitrification is likely to benefit the field, and since 2005, implantation and pregnancy rates from vitrified oocytes have matched or eclipsed results from conventional methods, due to new cell-specific methods and formulas. Cryopreservation of immature oocytes leads to a new direction of egg banking in future. Preserving ovarian tissue for autografting is still promising and has resulted in folliculogenesis, resumed hormone production and live births in limited cases. The use of small cortical blocks, or mechanical/chemical digestion of ovarian tissue for isolation of follicles is a new direction for ovary preservation for reasons of cryoprotectant permeation and graft revascularization. Maturation of follicles in vitro has become more feasible with the use of alginate microencapsulation. Testicular tissue preservation has taken a sharp turn towards preservation of gonadal stem cells. Research into the mechanism for spermatogenesis points to the ability for male germ cells to resume spermatogenesis. The cryopreservation of minced testicular tissue for isolation of germ cells via chemical digestion has produced viable cells, however structural damage that may be avoided by vitrification has been noted to the surrounding cell junctions and supporting cells.
doi:10.1016/j.cryobiol.2009.09.009
PMCID: PMC2891376  PMID: 19818745
Vitrification; Oocyte; Immature Oocyte; Ovarian Tissue; Alginate Encapsulation; Male Germ Cells
23.  Pre-conditioned mesenchymal stem cells: a better way for cell-based therapy 
Ischemic heart disease is the major cause of death globally, and a recently developed stem cell transplantation is a promising therapy for myocardial infarction. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exist in a wide range of tissues, and their differentiation potential and immunoregulatory capacity make them a more optimal candidate for regenerative medicine. However, the poor survival and low differentiation efficiency of the donor cells in the infarcted myocardium challenged therapeutic efficacy of MSC transplantation. To this end, many researchers have focused on improving the microenvironments of MSCs before and after transplantation and on trying to figure out the mechanisms. A recent study by Boopathy and colleagues reported the pro-cardiovascular differentiation effect of oxidative stress on cultured MSCs and the underlying signal pathways, leading to the notion that MSCs pre-conditioned with oxidative reagents promote cardiac differentiation efficiency of MSCs and may result in better clinical effect for ischemic heart diseases.
doi:10.1186/scrt213
PMCID: PMC3706937  PMID: 23739590
24.  The Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Regenerative Wound Healing Phenotype 
Advances in Wound Care  2012;1(4):159-165.
Background
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are key to regenerative wound healing. MSCs have spatial memory and respond to local environment. MSCs orchestrate wound repair by: (1) structural repair via cellular differentiation; (2) immune-modulation; (3) secretion of growth factors that drive neovascularization and re-epithelialization; and (4) mobilization of resident stem cells.
The Problem
Autologous bone-marrow-derived cells and MSCs demonstrate improved healing and tissue-integrity in animal models and clinical trials. However, the effects are variable and the mechanisms of MSC-mediated wound healing are not fully understood. The mammalian MSC niche and signaling sequences and factors affecting their homing, differentiation, viability, and safety need to be characterized to get full benefits of MSC cellular therapy.
Basic/Clinical Science Advances
MSCs can be isolated from bone-marrow, and less-invasive tissues such as adipose, gingiva, muscle, and umbilical cord, with similar functional effects. However, isolation, culture conditions, and markers used to identify and trace the lineage of these MSCs have not been standardized, which is crucial to determine the extent to which MSCs act as multipotent stem cells or sources of secreted factors in wounds.
Clinical Care Relevance
In chronic nonhealing wounds, where efficacy of conventional therapies is unsatisfactory, autotransplantation of MSCs could accelerate wound healing, promote regeneration and restoration of tissue integrity, and reduce recurrence of wounds at characteristically predisposed sites.
Conclusion
Regenerative medicine and novel wound therapies using autologous stem cells holds great promise for clinical management of difficult wounds. The ideal candidate stem cells can be used to repopulate the wound bed to mediate appropriate epidermal and dermal regeneration and promote efficient wound repair, while modulating the immune system to prevent infection.
doi:10.1089/wound.2012.0361
PMCID: PMC3839028  PMID: 24527298
25.  Steroid Regulation of Proliferation and Osteogenic Differentiation of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells: A Gender Difference 
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are considered a potential cell source for stem cell-based bone tissue engineering. However, noticeable limitations of insufficient supply and reduction of differentiation potential impact the feasibility of their clinical application. This study investigated the in vitro function of steroids and gender differences on the proliferation and differentiation of rat MSCs. Bone marrow MSCs of age-matched rats were exposed to proliferation and osteogenic differentiation media supplements with various concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) and dexamethasone. Cell proliferation was measured by MTS assay; osteogenic markers and steroid-associated growth factors and receptors were evaluated by ELISA and real-time PCR. The results revealed that supplements of E2 and dexamethasone increase MSC proliferation in a biphasic manner. The optimal dose and interaction of steroids required to improve MSC proliferation effectively varied depending on the gender of donors. Supplementation of E2 effectively improves osteogenic differentiation markers including ALP, osteocalcin and calcium levels for MSCs isolated from both male and female donors. The mRNA of TGF-β1 and BMP-7 are also up-regulated. However, effective doses to maximally improve osteogenic potentials and growth factors for MSCs are different between male and female donors. The relationship between steroid receptors, osteogenic markers and cytokines are also varied by genders. The outcomes of the present study strongly indicate that steroids potentially function as an effective modulator to improve the capacity of MSCs in bone regeneration. It provides crucial information for improving and optimizing MSCs for future clinical application of bone regeneration.
doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2009.02.001
PMCID: PMC2682591  PMID: 19429449
steroid regulation; mesenchymal stem cells; proliferation; differentiation; gender difference

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