Jessica A DeQuach

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States

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Publications (11)41.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Heart failure (HF) after myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of death in the western world with a critical need for new therapies. A previously developed injectable hydrogel derived from porcine myocardial matrix (PMM) has had successful results in both small and large animal MI models. In this study, we sought to evaluate the impact of tissue source on this biomaterial, specifically comparing porcine and human myocardium sources. We first developed an analogous hydrogel derived from human myocardial matrix (HMM). The biochemical and physical properties of the PMM and HMM hydrogels were then characterized, including residual dsDNA, protein content, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) content, complex viscosity, storage and loss moduli, and nano-scale topography. Biochemical activity was investigated with in vitro studies for the proliferation of vascular cells and differentiation of human cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (hCMPCs). Next, in vivo gelation and material spread were confirmed for both PMM and HMM after intramyocardial injection. After extensive comparison, the matrices were found to be similar, yet did show some differences. Because of the rarity of collecting healthy human hearts, the increased difficulty in processing the human tissue, shifts in ECM composition due to aging, and significant patient-to-patient variability, these studies suggest that the HMM is not a viable option as a scalable product for the clinic; however, the HMM has potential as a tool for in vitro cell culture.
    Biomaterials science. 01/2014; 2014:60283D.
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    ABSTRACT: New therapies are needed to prevent heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI). As experimental treatment strategies for MI approach translation, safety and efficacy must be established in relevant animal models that mimic the clinical situation. We have developed an injectable hydrogel derived from porcine myocardial extracellular matrix as a scaffold for cardiac repair after MI. We establish the safety and efficacy of this injectable biomaterial in large- and small-animal studies that simulate the clinical setting. Infarcted pigs were treated with percutaneous transendocardial injections of the myocardial matrix hydrogel 2 weeks after MI and evaluated after 3 months. Echocardiography indicated improvement in cardiac function, ventricular volumes, and global wall motion scores. Furthermore, a significantly larger zone of cardiac muscle was found at the endocardium in matrix-injected pigs compared to controls. In rats, we establish the safety of this biomaterial and explore the host response via direct injection into the left ventricular lumen and in an inflammation study, both of which support the biocompatibility of this material. Hemocompatibility studies with human blood indicate that exposure to the material at relevant concentrations does not affect clotting times or platelet activation. This work therefore provides a strong platform to move forward in clinical studies with this cardiac-specific biomaterial that can be delivered by catheter.
    Science translational medicine 02/2013; 5(173):173ra25. · 10.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial infarction (MI) produces a collagen scar, altering the local microenvironment and impeding cardiac function. Cell therapy is a promising therapeutic option to replace the billions of myocytes lost following MI. Despite early successes, chronic function remains impaired and is likely a result of poor cellular retention, proliferation, and differentiation/maturation. While some efforts to deliver cells with scaffolds have attempted to address these shortcomings, they lack the natural cues required for optimal cell function. The goal of this study was to determine whether a naturally derived cardiac extracellular matrix (cECM) could enhance cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) function in vitro. CPCs were isolated via magnetic sorting of c-kit(+) cells and were grown on plates coated with either cECM or collagen I (Col). Our results show an increase in early cardiomyocyte markers on cECM compared with Col, as well as corresponding protein expression at a later time. CPCs show stronger serum-induced proliferation on cECM compared with Col, as well as increased resistance to apoptosis following serum starvation. Finally, a microfluidic adhesion assay demonstrated stronger adhesion of CPCs to cECM compared with Col. These data suggest that cECM may be optimal for CPC therapeutic delivery, as well as providing potential mechanisms to overcome the shortcomings of naked cell therapy.
    Acta biomaterialia 07/2012; · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • Kevinchung, Jessica A.dequach, Karen L.christman
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    ABSTRACT: Many studies have demonstrated that microscale changes to surface chemistry and topography affect cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and gene expression. More recently, studies have begun to examine cell behavior interactions with structures on the nanoscale since in vivo, cells recognize and adhere to cell adhesion receptors that are spatially organized on this scale. These studies have been enabled through various fabrication methods, many of which were initially developed for the semiconductor industry. This review explores cell responses to a variety of controlled topographical and biochemical cues using an assortment of nanoscale fabrication methods in order to elucidate which pattern dimensions are beneficial for controlling cell adhesion and differentiation.
    Nano LIFE. 04/2012; 01(01n02).
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) currently affects approximately 27 million patients in Europe and North America, and if untreated, may progress to the stage of critical limb ischemia (CLI), which has implications for amputation and potential mortality. Unfortunately, few therapies exist for treating the ischemic skeletal muscle in these conditions. Biomaterials have been used to increase cell transplant survival as well as deliver growth factors to treat limb ischemia; however, existing materials do not mimic the native skeletal muscle microenvironment they are intended to treat. Furthermore, no therapies involving biomaterials alone have been examined. The goal of this study was to develop a clinically relevant injectable hydrogel derived from decellularized skeletal muscle extracellular matrix and examine its potential for treating PAD as a stand-alone therapy by studying the material in a rat hindlimb ischemia model. We tested the mitogenic activity of the scaffold's degradation products using an in vitro assay and measured increased proliferation rates of smooth muscle cells and skeletal myoblasts compared to collagen. In a rat hindlimb ischemia model, the femoral artery was ligated and resected, followed by injection of 150 ┬ÁL of skeletal muscle matrix or collagen 1 week post-injury. We demonstrate that the skeletal muscle matrix increased arteriole and capillary density, as well as recruited more desmin-positive and MyoD-positive cells compared to collagen. Our results indicate that this tissue-specific injectable hydrogel may be a potential therapy for treating ischemia related to PAD, as well as have potential beneficial effects on restoring muscle mass that is typically lost in CLI.
    European cells & materials 01/2012; 23:400-12; discussion 412. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays important roles in influencing cellular behavior such as attachment, differentiation, and proliferation. However, in conventional culture and tissue engineering strategies, single proteins are frequently utilized, which do not mimic the complex extracellular microenvironment seen in vivo. In this study we report a method to decellularize brain tissue using detergents. This decellularized brain matrix is rich in glycosaminoglycans and contains collagen I, collagen III, collagen IV, collagen V, collagen VI, perlecan, and laminin. By further processing the material into a liquid form, the brain matrix can be used as a cell culture coating. Neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells plated on the brain matrix express neuronal markers and assume neuronal morphology. Additionally, the same material can potentially be used as a scaffold for tissue engineering as it reassembles upon injection in vivo to form a gel. Thus, our work demonstrates the ability to use decellularized brain ECM for cell culture and tissue engineering applications.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 09/2011; 17(21-22):2583-92. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    D Adam Young, Jessica A DeQuach, Karen L Christman
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the Western world and myocardial infarction is one of the primary facets of this disease. The limited natural self-renewal of cardiac muscle following injury and restricted supply of heart transplants has encouraged researchers to investigate other means to stimulate regeneration of damaged myocardium. The plasticity of stem cells toward multiple lineages offers the potential to repair the heart following injury. Embryonic stem cells have been extensively studied for their ability to differentiate into early cardiomyocytes, however, the pathway has only been partially defined and inadequate efficiency limits their clinical applicability. Some studies have shown cardiomyogenesis from adult mesenchymal stem cells, from both bone marrow and adipose tissue, but their differentiation pathway remains poorly detailed and these results remain controversial. Despite promising results using stem cells in animal models of cardiac injury, the driving mechanisms behind their differentiation down a cardiomyogenic pathway have yet to be determined. Currently, there is a paucity of information regarding cardiomyogenesis on the systemic level. Stem cell differentiation results from multiple signaling parameters operating in a tightly regulated spatiotemporal pattern. Investigating this phenomenon from a systems biology perspective could unveil the abstruse mechanisms controlling cardiomyogenesis that would otherwise require extensive in vitro testing.
    Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Systems Biology and Medicine 12/2010; 3(6):666-80. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The native extracellular matrix (ECM) consists of a highly complex, tissue-specific network of proteins and polysaccharides, which help regulate many cellular functions. Despite the complex nature of the ECM, in vitro cell-based studies traditionally assess cell behavior on single ECM component substrates, which do not adequately mimic the in vivo extracellular milieu. We present a simple approach for developing naturally derived ECM coatings for cell culture that provide important tissue-specific cues unlike traditional cell culture coatings, thereby enabling the maturation of committed C2C12 skeletal myoblast progenitors and human embryonic stem cells differentiated into cardiomyocytes. Here we show that natural muscle-specific coatings can (i) be derived from decellularized, solubilized adult porcine muscle, (ii) contain a complex mixture of ECM components including polysaccharides, (iii) adsorb onto tissue culture plastic and (iv) promote cell maturation of committed muscle progenitor and stem cells. This versatile method can create tissue-specific ECM coatings, which offer a promising platform for cell culture to more closely mimic the mature in vivo ECM microenvironment.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(9):e13039. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This protocol provides methods for the preparation of an injectable extracellular matrix (ECM) gel for myocardial tissue engineering applications. Briefly, decellularized tissue is lyophilized, milled, enzymatically digested, and then brought to physiological pH. The lyophilization removes all water content from the tissue, resulting in dry ECM that can be ground into a fine powder with a small mill. After milling, the ECM powder is digested with pepsin to form an injectable matrix. After adjustment to pH 7.4, the liquid matrix material can be injected into the myocardium. Results of previous characterization assays have shown that matrix gels produced from decellularized pericardial and myocardial tissue retain native ECM components, including diverse proteins, peptides and glycosaminoglycans. Given the use of this material for tissue engineering, in vivo characterization is especially useful; here, a method for performing an intramural injection into the left ventricular (LV) free wall is presented as a means of analyzing the host response to the matrix gel in a small animal model. Access to the chest cavity is gained through the diaphragm and the injection is made slightly above the apex in the LV free wall. The biologically derived scaffold can be visualized by biotin-labeling before injection and then staining tissue sections with a horse radish peroxidase-conjugated neutravidin and visualizing via diaminobenzidine (DAB) staining. Analysis of the injection region can also be done with histological and immunohistochemical staining. In this way, the previously examined pericardial and myocardial matrix gels were shown to form fibrous, porous networks and promote vessel formation within the injection region.
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial tissue lacks the ability to significantly regenerate itself following a myocardial infarction, thus tissue engineering strategies are required for repair. Several injectable materials have been examined for cardiac tissue engineering; however, none have been designed specifically to mimic the myocardium. The goal of this study was to investigate the in vitro properties and in vivo potential of an injectable myocardial matrix designed to mimic the natural myocardial extracellular environment. Porcine myocardial tissue was decellularized and processed to form a myocardial matrix with the ability to gel in vitro at 37 degrees C and in vivo upon injection into rat myocardium. The resulting myocardial matrix maintained a complex composition, including glycosaminoglycan content, and was able to self-assemble to form a nanofibrous structure. Endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells were shown to migrate towards the myocardial matrix both in vitro and in vivo, with a significant increase in arteriole formation at 11 days post-injection. The matrix was also successfully pushed through a clinically used catheter, demonstrating its potential for minimally invasive therapy. Thus, we have demonstrated the initial feasibility and potential of a naturally derived myocardial matrix as an injectable scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering.
    Biomaterials 08/2009; 30(29):5409-16. · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current injectable materials utilized in myocardial tissue engineering have been borrowed from other tissue engineering applications and have not been specifically designed for the myocardium. We have recently tested the feasibility of using an injectable form of myocardial extracellular matrix that would provide cardiac specific matrix cues as well as be amenable to minimally invasive delivery. We have demonstrated that this material self-assembles in vivo to form a nanofibrous scaffold, which supports the infiltration of neovasculature. We have also demonstrated that this material may be delivered minimally invasively through a catheter.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 01/2009; 2009:2406-8.