Bioprinted amniotic fluid-derived stem cells accelerate healing of large skin wounds

Aleksander Skardal, David Mack, Edi Kapetanovic, Anthony Atala, John D. Jackson, James Yoo, Shay Soker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

357 Scopus citations


Stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid show high proliferative capacity in culture and multilineage differentiation potential. Because of the lack of significant immunogenicity and the ability of the amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells to modulate the inflammatory response, we investigated whether they could augment wound healing in a mouse model of skin regeneration. We used bioprinting technology to treat full-thickness skin wounds in nu/nu mice. AFS cells and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were resuspended in fibrin-collagen gel and "printed" over the wound site. At days 0, 7, and 14, AFS celland MSC-driven wound closure and re-epithelialization were significantly greater than closure and re-epithelialization in wounds treated by fibrincollagen gel only. Histological examination showed increased microvessel density and capillary diameters in the AFS cell-treated wounds compared with the MSC-treated wounds, whereas the skin treated only with gel showed the lowest amount of microvessels. However, tracking of fluorescently labeled AFS cells and MSCs revealed that the cells remained transiently and did not permanently integrate in the tissue. These observations suggest that the increased wound closure rates and angiogenesis may be due to delivery of secreted trophic factors, rather than direct cell-cell interactions. Accordingly, we performed proteomic analysis, which showed that AFS cells secreted a number of growth factors at concentrations higher than those of MSCs. In parallel, we showed that AFS cell-conditioned media induced endothelial cell migration in vitro. Taken together, our results indicate that bioprinting AFS cells could be an effective treatment for large-scale wounds and burns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-802
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cellular therapy
  • Fetal stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Skin grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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