AIM: Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-therapy is increasingly being evaluated in clinical trials. Dermal delivery is not only time consuming but also unreliable, potentially hampering the therapeutic result. Therefore, qualification of cell delivery protocols is essential. This study evaluated a clinically relevant automated multi-needle injection method for cutaneous MSC-therapy, allowing the skin to be readily and timely treated, by assessing both the cellular health post-ejection and dermal delivery.
METHODS: Following dispensation through the injector (31 G needles: 9- or 5-pin) the cellular health and potency (perceived- and long-term (12 h) viability, recovery, metabolism, adherence, proliferation and IDO1-expression) of adipose-derived stem cells (10-20-50 ×106 cells/ml) were assessed in vitro in addition to dermal delivery of solution in human skin.
RESULTS: No significant detrimental effect on the perceived cell viability, recovery, metabolism, adherence or IDO1-expression of either cell concentration was observed. However, the overall long-term viability and proliferation decreased significantly regardless of cell concentration, nonetheless marginally. An injection depth above 1.0 mm resulted in all needles piercing the skin with dermal delivery from up to 89% needles and minimal reflux to the skin surface, and the results were confirmed by ultrasound and histology.
CONCLUSION: The automated injector is capable of delivering dermal cell-doses with an acceptable cell quality.