Preclinical assessment of efficacy of Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells on a scaffold of Aloe vera-Polycaprolactone in wound healing using a rat burn model.

Dr Susan Jehangir1, Ms Sowmya Ramesh1, Dr  Madhuri Walter1

1Christian Medical College, Vellore, India


Background:  This project studies the regeneration of epidermal and dermal components with the use human Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Cells (WJ-MSCs) on a Aloe vera-Polycaprolactone (A-PCL) composite scaffold and Collagen sheet  in a rat burn model

Methods: MSC from Wharton Jelly were isolated, cultured and characterized using flow cytometry. Cells at passage 1 (1×105 cm2) were seeded on an in-house fabricated aloe vera and collagen sheets (Kӧllagen®, India). Critical sized (4 cm2) in vivo burn model in rat was established by applying a heated coin over the back for 30 sec without external pressure. Experimental groups (n=7 each) were a. burn control, b. collagen alone, c. aloe vera alone, d. collagen +WJ-MSCs and e. aloe vera +WJ-MSCs. Outcome was assessed by gross appearance and histology (H&E).

Results: Culture expanded MSC were characterised positive for human cell surface markers. The wound remained unhealed in the burns control group at day 28 with a Bates Jensen score of 18. The other four arms healed with the fastest healing occurring in the A-PCL with WJ-MSCs group. Histology of the burns control group showed the non-healing ulcer with minimal epithelization and no sweat or sebaceous glands. The A-PCL group showed epithelization with no adnexal structures. Both collagen groups showed a similar picture with complete epithelization and a few hair follicles and additionally, immature sweat glands in the collagen WJ-MSC group. The A-PCL WJ-MSC group showed complete epithelization with abundant hair follicles and sweat glands.

Conclusion: We found that in-house fabricated aloe vera sheets with MSC augmented skin repair. There was significant regeneration of skin appendages in this group.


Susan is a consultant Pediatric surgeon at the Christian medical College at Vellore. She is currently a fellow at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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