Biomechanical Screening of Cell Therapies for Vocal Fold Scar

Rebecca S. Bartlett, Joel D. Gaston, Tom Y. Yen, Shuyun Ye, Christina Kendziorski, Susan L. Thibeault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Candidate cell sources for vocal fold scar treatment include mesenchymal stromal cells from bone marrow (BM-MSC) and adipose tissue (AT-MSC). Mechanosensitivity of MSC can alter highly relevant aspects of their behavior, yet virtually nothing is known about how MSC might respond to the dynamic mechanical environment of the larynx. Our objective was to evaluate MSC as a potential cell source for vocal fold tissue engineering in a mechanically relevant context. A vibratory strain bioreactor and cDNA microarray were used to evaluate the similarity of AT-MSC and BM-MSC to the native cell source, vocal fold fibroblasts (VFF). Posterior probabilities for each of the microarray transcripts fitting into specific expression patterns were calculated, and the data were analyzed for Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment. Significant wound healing and cell differentiation GO terms are reported. In addition, proliferation and apoptosis were evaluated with immunohistochemistry. Results revealed that VFF shared more GO terms related to epithelial development, extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, growth factor activity, and immune response with BM-MSC than with AT-MSC. Similarity in glycosaminoglycan and proteoglycan activity dominated the ECM analysis. Analysis of GO terms relating to MSC differentiation toward osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic lineages revealed that BM-MSC expressed fewer osteogenesis GO terms in the vibrated and scaffold-only conditions compared to polystyrene. We did not evaluate if vibrated BM-MSC recover osteogenic expression markers when returned to polystyrene culture. Immunostaining for Ki67 and cleaved caspase 3 did not vary with cell type or mechanical condition. We conclude that VFF may have a more similar wound healing capacity to BM-MSC than to AT-MSC in response to short-term vibratory strain. Furthermore, BM-MSC appear to lose osteogenic potential in the vibrated and scaffold-only conditions compared to polystyrene, potentially attenuating the risk of osteogenesis for in vivo applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2437-2447
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomechanical Screening of Cell Therapies for Vocal Fold Scar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this