Silk/fibroin microcarriers for mesenchymal stem cell delivery: Optimization of cell seeding by the design of experiment

Carlotta Perucca Orfei, Giuseppe Talò, Marco Viganò, Sara Perteghella, Gaia Lugano, Francesca Fabro Fontana, Enrico Ragni, Alessandra Colombini, Paola De Luca, Matteo Moretti, Maria Luisa Torre, Laura de Girolamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this methodological paper, lyophilized fibroin-coated alginate microcarriers (LFAMs) proposed as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) delivery systems and optimal MSCs seeding conditions for cell adhesion rate and cell arrangement, was defined by a Design of Experiment (DoE) approach. Cells were co-incubated with microcarriers in a bioreactor for different time intervals and conditions: variable stirring speed, dynamic culture intermittent or continuous, and different volumes of cells-LFAMs loaded in the bioreactor. Intermittent dynamic culture resulted as the most determinant parameter; the volume of LFAMs/cells suspension and the speed used for the dynamic culture contributed as well, whereas time was a less influencing parameter. The optimized seeding conditions were: 98 min of incubation time, 12.3 RPM of speed, and 401.5 µL volume of cells-LFAMs suspension cultured with the intermittent dynamic condition. This DoE predicted protocol was then validated on both human Adipose-derived Stem Cells (hASCs) and human Bone Marrow Stem Cells (hBMSCs), revealing a good cell adhesion rate on the surface of the carriers. In conclusion, microcarriers can be used as cell delivery systems at the target site (by injection or arthroscopic technique), to maintain MSCs and their activity at the injured site for regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Alginate
  • Cell delivery
  • Design of experiment
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Microcarrier
  • One-step clinical procedure
  • Silk fibroin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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