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  • Author
    Kirandeep Kaur
  • PI

    Dr. Jennifer Long

  • Co-Author

  • Title

    A Preclinical Model of Vocal Fold Tissue Engineering in Pigs Using Human Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

  • Program

    CTSI TL1 Summer Program

  • Other Program (if not listed above)

  • Abstract

    Vocal folds (VF) can be injured from smoke inhalation, cancer resection, intubation, foreign body, or other trauma. Similar to the rest of the body, the healing process involves an increase in disordered elastic fibers and collagen, scarring the vocal fold and decreasing the vibrational ability necessary for normal voicing. Traditional treatments fail to restore the normal function and structure of VF. In this project, a new approach of regenerative medicine was utilized to implant human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for cell-based vocal fold replacement (COVR) in Yucatan mini pigs. Tissue samples of the VF were collected and digested in collagenase at different time periods post-implantation to monitor cellular and genomic changes during the healing process. 10,000 cells were analyzed for single-cell RNA sequencing. Tagged cDNA libraries were created for each cell and sequenced output data from the samples was analyzed using existing software packages, Kallisto and Scanpy. MMP, procollagen, TGF-beta, elastin, and fibrillin percent composition in the overall sample decreased because other genes involved in inflammatory response increased. Preliminary data showed the increase occurred during weeks 2 and 4 post-implantation. The future work will focus on understanding if the implanted human cells apoptosed, resisted, or were rejected, however, there is high homogeneity in human and pig genetic composition making it difficult to track.

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