Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Persist in Tissue-Engineered Vocal Fold Replacement in Rabbits

Alexander N. Goel, Bhavani S. Gowda, Mysore S. Veena, Travis L. Shiba, Jennifer L. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: Cell therapies using mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been proposed as a promising new tool for the treatment of vocal fold scarring. However, the mechanisms by which MSCs promote healing as well as their duration of survival within the host vocal fold have yet to be defined. The aim of this work was to assess the persistence of embedded MSCs within a tissue-engineered vocal fold mucosal replacement in a rabbit model of vocal fold injury. Methods: Male rabbit adipose-derived MSCs were embedded within a 3-dimensional fibrin gel, forming the cell-based outer vocal fold replacement. Four female rabbits underwent unilateral resection of vocal fold epithelium and lamina propria and reconstruction with cell-based outer vocal fold replacement implantation. Polymerase chain reaction and fluorescent in situ hybridization for the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY-II) in the sex-mismatched donor-recipient pairs sought persistent cells after 4 weeks. Results: A subset of implanted male cells was detected in the implant site at 4 weeks. Many SRY-II-negative cells were also detected at the implant site, presumably representing native female cells that migrated to the area. No SRY-II signal was detected in contralateral control vocal folds. Conclusions: The emergent tissue after implantation of a tissue-engineered outer vocal fold replacement is derived both from initially embedded adipose-derived stromal cells and infiltrating native cells. Our results suggest this tissue-engineering approach can provide a well-integrated tissue graft with prolonged cell activity for repair of severe vocal fold scars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-968
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • adipose-derived stromal cell
  • tissue engineering
  • vocal fold replacement
  • vocal fold scarring


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