Yield optimisation and molecular characterisation of uncultured CD271+ mesenchymal stem cells in the reamer irrigator aspirator waste bag

Sarah M. Churchman, Dimitrios Kouroupis, Sally A. Boxall, Tarek Roshdy, Hiang B. Tan, Dennis McGonagle, Peter V. Giannoudis, Elena A. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Bone reconstruction requires the use of autografts from patients' iliac crest (IC); for large-volume defects bone void fillers and autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are often added. The Reamer/Irrigator/Aspirator (RIA) device provides the means of harvesting large amounts of autograft and additionally yields a waste bag containing MSCs, which is currently discarded. The aim of this study was to enumerate and characterise native MSCs from RIA waste bag and compare them to 'gold-standard' donor-matched MSCs from IC bone marrow (BM). IC-BM from age matched trauma patients was used as control. In RIA waste bags the median MSC yield established using a colony-forming fibroblast assay was 314333 (range 5 x 104-1.4 x 106), equivalent to approximately one litre of IC-BM aspirate. CD271+ cells were present at high levels in RIA waste bags, had MSC surface phenotype (CD90+CD73+CD105+CD34-CD61-CD19-CD31-CD33-) and expressed genes associated with multipotentiality, osteogenesis, adipogenesis and angiogenic support. RIA-CD271+ MSCs were transcriptionally similar to donor-matched IC-CD271+ MSCs (76% transcripts); with the majority of bone-related and Wnt pathway molecules being expressed at comparable levels. Lower-level expression of MCAM/CD146 and 5/13 hypoxia-related molecules was found in RIA-CD271+ MSCs, potentially reflecting their native residence in a more hypoxic environment of the endosteum and bone cortex. These data suggest that long bones contain very large numbers of MSCs, transcriptionally-similar to IC-BM MSCs; they can be procured by reaming using the RIA device and used, following concentration, as autologous and potentially allogeneic bone repair therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Cells and Materials
StatePublished - Dec 13 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone regeneration
  • Gene expression
  • Long bone
  • Multipotential stromal cell
  • Reamer/irrigator/aspirator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology


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