PloS one

Decellularized Wharton's Jelly from human umbilical cord as a novel 3D scaffolding material for tissue engineering applications.

PMID 28222169


In tissue engineering, an ideal scaffold attracts and supports cells thus providing them with the necessary mechanical support and architecture as they reconstruct new tissue in vitro and in vivo. This manuscript details a novel matrix derived from decellularized Wharton's jelly (WJ) obtained from human umbilical cord for use as a scaffold for tissue engineering application. This decellularized Wharton's jelly matrix (DWJM) contained 0.66 ± 0.12 μg/mg sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and was abundant in hyaluronic acid, and completely devoid of cells. Mass spectroscopy revealed the presence of collagen types II, VI and XII, fibronectin-I, and lumican I. When seeded onto DWJM, WJ mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSCs), successfully attached to, and penetrated the porous matrix resulting in a slower rate of cell proliferation. Gene expression analysis of WJ and bone marrow (BM) MSCs cultured on DWJM demonstrated decreased expression of proliferation genes with no clear pattern of differentiation. When this matrix was implanted into a murine calvarial defect model with, green fluorescent protein (GFP) labeled osteocytes, the osteocytes were observed to migrate into the matrix as early as 24 hours. They were also identified in the matrix up to 14 days after transplantation. Together with these findings, we conclude that DWJM can be used as a 3D porous, bioactive and biocompatible scaffold for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.