Immunological and Differentiation Properties of Amniotic Cells Are Retained After Immobilization in Pectin Gel

Ornella Parolini, Antonietta R. Silini, Valentina Spoldi, Silvia De Munari, Elsa Vertua, Fabiola Munarin, Paola Petrini, Silvia Farè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stromal cells from the human amniotic membrane (i.e., human amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells [hAMSCs]) of term placenta are increasingly attracting attention for their applications in regenerative medicine. Osteochondral defects represent a major clinical problem with lifelong chronic pain and compromised quality of life. Great promise for osteochondral regeneration is held in hydrogel-based constructs that have a flexible composition and mimic the physiological structure of cartilage. Cell loading within a hydrogel represents an advantage for regenerative purposes, but the encapsulation steps can modify cell properties. As pectin gels have also been explored as cell vehicles on 3D scaffolds, the aim of this study was to explore the possibility to include hAMSCs in pectin gel. Immobilization of hAMSCs into pectin gels could expand their application in cell-based bioengineering strategies. hAMSCs were analyzed for their viability and recovery from the pectin gel and for their ability to differentiate toward the osteogenic lineage and to maintain their immunological characteristics. When treated with a purposely designed pectin/hydroxyapatite gel biocomposite, hAMSCs retained their ability to differentiate toward the osteogenic lineage, did not induce an immune response, and retained their ability to reduce T cell proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that hAMSCs could be used in combination to pectin gels for the study of novel osteochondral regeneration strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalCell Transplantation
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • amniotic membrane
  • amniotic mesenchymal stromal/stem cells
  • human placenta
  • osteochondral defects
  • pectin gel


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