Increased yield of gelatin coated therapeutic cells through cholesterol insertion

Kara A. Davis, Hsuan Peng, Lakshman Chelvarajan, Ahmed Abdel-Latif, Brad J. Berron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Gelatin coatings are effective in increasing the retention of MSCs injected into the heart and minimizing the damage from acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but early studies suffered from low fractions of the MSCs coated with gelatin. Biotinylation of the MSC surface is a critical first step in the gelatin coating process, and in this study, we evaluated the use of biotinylated cholesterol “lipid insertion” anchors as a substitute for the covalent NHS-biotin anchors to the cell surface. Streptavidin-eosin molecules, where eosin is our photoinitiator, can then be bound to the cell surface through biotin-streptavidin affinity. The use of cholesterol anchors increased streptavidin density on the surface of MSCs further driving polymerization and allowing for an increased fraction of MSCs coated with gelatin (83%) when compared to NHS-biotin (52%). Additionally, the cholesterol anchors increased the uniformity of the coating on the MSC surface and supported greater numbers of coated MSCs even when the streptavidin density was slightly lower than that of an NHS-biotin anchoring strategy. Critically, this improvement in gelatin coating efficiency did not impact cytokine secretion and other critical MSC functions. Proper selection of the cholesterol anchor and the biotinylation conditions supports cellular function and densities of streptavidin on the MSC surface of up to ~105 streptavidin molecules/μm2. In all, these cholesterol anchors offer an effective path towards the formation of conformal coatings on the majority of MSCs to improve the retention of MSCs in the heart following AMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-335
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • cell coating
  • cell surface engineering
  • cholesterol
  • lipid insertion
  • streptavidin density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased yield of gelatin coated therapeutic cells through cholesterol insertion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this