Tissue engineering potential of human dermis-isolated adult stem cells from multiple anatomical locations

Heenam Kwon, Anne K. Haudenschild, Wendy E. Brown, Natalia Vapniarsky Arzi, Nikolaos K. Paschos, Boaz Arzi, Jerry C. Hu, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Abundance and accessibility render skin-derived stem cells an attractive cell source for tissue engineering applications. Toward assessing their utility, the variability of constructs engineered from human dermis-isolated adult stem (hDIAS) cells was examined with respect to different anatomical locations (foreskin, breast, and abdominal skin), both in vitro and in a subcutaneous, athymic mouse model. All anatomical locations yielded hDIAS cells with multi-lineage differentiation potentials, though adipogenesis was not seen for foreskin-derived hDIAS cells. Using engineered cartilage as a model, tissue engineered constructs from hDIAS cells were compared. Construct morphology differed by location. The mechanical properties of human foreskin- and abdominal skin-derived constructs were similar at implantation, remaining comparable after 4 additional weeks of culture in vivo. Breast skin-derived constructs were not mechanically testable. For all groups, no signs of abnormality were observed in the host. Addition of aggregate redifferentiation culture prior to construct formation improved chondrogenic differentiation of foreskin-derived hDIAS cells, as evident by increases in glycosaminoglycan and collagen contents. More robust Alcian blue staining and homogeneous cell populations were also observed compared to controls. Human DIAS cells elicited no adverse host responses, reacted positively to chondrogenic regimens, and possessed multi-lineage differentiation potential with the caveat that efficacy may differ by anatomical origin of the skin. Taken together, these results suggest that hDIAS cells hold promise as a potential cell source for a number of tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0182531
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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