Myogenic stem cell-laden hydrogel scaffold in wound healing of the disrupted external anal sphincter

T. Ignacio Montoya, Jesus F. Acevedo, Benjamin Smith, Patrick W. Keller, Joseph L. Sailors, Liping Tang, R. Ann Word, Clifford Y. Wai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of myogenic stem cell-laden hydrogel scaffold on contractile function and histomorphology of the external anal sphincter (EAS) after transection without repair. Methods: Eighty female rats underwent anal sphincter transection without repair. After 2 weeks, animals were injected at the transection site with: nothing (non-repaired control, NRC group); a polyethylene glycol-based hydrogel matrix scaffold combined with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS/hydrogel group); a hydrogel matrix scaffold combined with myogenic stem cells (stem cell/hydrogel group): or type I collagen (collagen) group. 4 (n = 40) or 12 (n = 40) weeks later, the anal sphincter complexes were dissected out and analyzed for contractile function, disruption, and striated muscle volume. Time-matched unoperated controls (UOC) were utilized for each of the two time points (n = 20). Results: After 4 weeks, maximal electrical field-stimulated (EFS) contractions were significantly decreased in all four non-repaired treatment groups compared with UOC. However, EFS-stimulated contractions, tetanic force generation, and twitch tension were improved in non-repaired EAS injected with stem cell/hydrogel group relative to the NRC, PBS/hydrogel, or collagen groups. NRC and sphincters injected with PBS/hydrogel deteriorated further by 12 weeks, while those receiving stem cell/hydrogel maintained improved contractile function at varying frequencies and voltages. Striated muscle volume increased from 4 to 12 weeks for PBS/hydrogel and stem cell/hydrogel animals. At 12 weeks, stem cell/hydrogel animals had greater sphincter striated muscle volumes compared with all other treatment groups. Conclusion: In this animal model, sustained improvement of contractile responses in non-repaired EAS treated with biogel scaffold and myogenic stem cells suggests that a biologically compatible matrix may facilitate stem cell survival, differentiation, or function leading to recovery of contractile function even after persistent disruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-904
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 27 2015


  • Biogel
  • Bioscaffold
  • Physiology
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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