IJMS, Vol. 22, Pages 11011: Minispheroids as a Tool for Ligament Tissue Engineering: Do the Self-Assembly Techniques and Spheroid Dimensions Influence the Cruciate Ligamentocyte Phenotype?
International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms222011011
Spheroid culture might stabilize the ligamentocyte phenotype. Therefore, the phenotype of lapine cruciate ligamentocyte (L-CLs) minispheroids prepared either by hanging drop (HD) method or by using a novel spheroid plate (SP) and the option of methyl cellulose (MC) for tuning spheroid formation was tested. A total of 250 and 1000 L-CLs per spheroid were seeded as HDs or on an SP before performing cell viability assay, morphometry, gene expression (qRT-PCR) and protein immunolocalization after 7 (HD/SP) and 14 (SP) days. Stable and viable spheroids of both sizes could be produced with both methods, but more rapidly with SP. MC accelerated the formation of round spheroids (HD). Their circular areas decreased significantly during culturing. After 7 days, the diameters of HD-derived spheroids were significantly larger compared to those harvested from the SP, with a tendency of lower circularity suggesting an ellipsoid shape. Gene expression of decorin increased significantly after 7 days (HD, similar trend in SP), tenascin C tended to increase after 7 (HD/SP) and 14 days (SP), whereas collagen type 1 decreased (HD/SP) compared to the monolayer control. The cruciate ligament extracellular matrix components could be localized in all mini-spheroids, confirming their conserved expression profile and their suitability for ligament tissue engineering.
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