Three-dimensional perfusion cultivation of human cardiac-derived progenitors facilitates their expansion while maintaining progenitor state

Olga Kryukov, Emil Ruvinov, Smadar Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The therapeutic application of autologous cardiac-derived progenitor cells (CPCs) requires a large cell quantity generated under defined conditions. Herein, we investigated the applicability of a three-dimensional (3D) perfusion cultivation system to facilitate the expansion of CPCs harvested from human heart biopsies and characterized by a relatively high percentage of c-kit+ cells. The cells were seeded in macroporous alginate scaffolds and after cultivation for 7 days under static conditions, some of the constructs were transferred into a perfusion bioreactor, which was operated for an additional 14 days. A robust and highly reproducible human CPC (hCPC) expansion of more than seven-fold was achieved under the 3D perfusion culture conditions, while under static conditions, the expansion of CPCs was limited only to the first 7 days, after which it leveled-off. On day 21 of perfusion cultivation, the expanded cells exhibited a higher expression level of the progenitor marker c-kit, suggesting that the c-kit-positive CPCs are the main cell population undergoing proliferation. The profile of the spontaneous differentiation in the perfused construct was different from that in the static cultivated constructs; genes typical for cardiac and endothelial cell lineages were more widely expressed in the perfused constructs. By contrast, the differentiation to osteogenic (Von Kossa staining and alkaline phosphatase activity) and adipogenic (Oil Red staining) lineages was reduced in the perfused constructs compared with static cultivated constructs. Collectively, our results indicate that 3D perfusion cultivation mode is an appropriate system for robust expansion of human CPCs while maintaining their progenitor state and differentiation potential into the cardiovascular cell lineages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-894
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number11
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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