Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are a therapeutic target to promote tissue regeneration, mainly when oxidative stress-mediated damage is involved in disease pathogenesis. Here, slow-release silk sericin nanoparticles (SNPs) loaded with natural antioxidant polyphenols were developed to sustain regeneration by tissue-resident MSCs. SNPs were prepared by exploiting a self-assembly method with poloxamer and were loaded with proanthocyanidins (P), quercetin (Q) or epigallocatechin gallate (E). SNPs, with a diameter less than 150 nm, were able to encapsulate both hydrophilic (P and E) and hydrophobic (Q) drugs. A slow and controlled release was obtained from SNPs for all the actives in PBS, while in EtOH, Q and E showed a burst release but P did not. Kinetic models revealed lower diffusion of P than other biomolecules, probably due to the higher steric hindrance of P. The in vitro anti-oxidant, anti-elastase and anti-tyrosinase properties of SNPs were assessed: loading the P and E into SNPs preserved the in vitro biological activities whereas for Q, the anti-elastase activity was strongly improved. Moreover, all formulations promoted MSC metabolic activity over 72 h. Finally, SNPs exhibited a strong ability to protect MSCs from oxidative stress, which supports their potential use for regenerative purposes mediated by tissue-resident MSCs.
- silk-sericin nanoparticles
- epigallocatechin gallate
- tissue regeneration
- mesenchymal stem/stromal cells