The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of acellular dermal matrix as a carrier for delivery of stem cells to the site of soft tissue defect in a murine skin injury model and to determine the potential of stem cells delivered via such an approach to successfully engraft, survive and differentiate locally. We showed that adipose-derived stem cells delivered via this matrix survived after in vivo engraftment, spontaneously differentiated along vascular endothelial, fibroblastic and epidermal epithelial lineages and significantly improved wound healing. Furthermore, an organ survey for transplanted cells showed no evidence of a systemic distribution beyond the cutaneous wound site, indicating that the adipose-derived stem cell-dermal matrix construct provides a novel and effective method for anatomically focused cellular therapy. In conclusion, stem cell-seeded dermal matrix is an effective means for targeted in vivo cell delivery for enhanced soft tissue regeneration.
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