AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 10 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.1045
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Near-infrared controlled release of mesenchymal stem cells secretome from bioprinted graphene-based microbeads for nerve regeneration

Giordano Perini1,2 Valentina Palmieri2,3 Marcello D’Ascenzo1,2 Claudia Colussi2,4 Claudio Grassi1,2 Ginevra Friggeri2 Alberto Augello2 Lishan Cui1 Massimiliano Papi1,2* Marco De Spirito1,2
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1 Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy
2 Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCSS, 00168 Rome, Italy
3 Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, CNR, Via dei Taurini 19, 00185 Rome, Italy
4 Istituto di analisi dei sistemi ed informatica “Antonio Ruberti,” CNR, Via dei Taurini 19, 00185 Rome, Italy
IJB 2024, 10(1), 1045
Submitted: 5 June 2023 | Accepted: 10 July 2023 | Published: 4 August 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Nerve damage is a prevalent and debilitating condition with limited treatment options. Recent years have seen an increased incidence of neural damage due to factors such as aging populations and traumatic brain injuries. Addressing the urgent need for effective therapies, this study explores the controlled delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) secretome, a complex mixture of bioactive factors, which is currently being investigated for its potential in nerve regeneration. The secretome offers significant advantages over stem cells themselves, as it can be more easily characterized and controlled, enabling precise regulation of therapeutic interventions. However, the challenge lies in delivering the secretome specifically to the target anatomical region. To overcome this limitation, we propose a novel approach utilizing near-infrared (NIR) radiation-responsive bioprinted alginate-graphene oxide (AGO) microbeads. Graphene oxide (GO) is a highly biocompatible material with unique properties, including NIR responsiveness, enabling controlled release of therapeutic agents upon NIR exposure. We hypothesized that AGO microbeads could encapsulate MSCs secretome and release it in a controlled manner using NIR radiation. To investigate our hypothesis, controlled damage was induced to hippocampal neurons, and MSCs secretome was encapsulated within AGO microbeads. Subsequently, NIR radiation was applied to trigger the release of the secretome. We compared the efficacy of MSCs secretome with that of astrocytes, which also possess nerve growth and proliferation-promoting capabilities. Our findings demonstrated that the controlled release of MSCs secretome from AGO microbeads through non-invasive NIR radiation significantly promoted the proliferation and regeneration of neurons following nerve injury. AGO microbeads offer multiple advantages over conventional delivery methods, including precise control over the timing, location, and dosage of therapeutic agents. Furthermore, the potential for reduced immunogenicity and tumorigenicity enhances the safety profile of the therapy. Consequently, this study presents a promising avenue for the development of MSC-based therapies for nerve regeneration, with implications for the treatment of various neuropathies and injuries.

3D Bioprinting
Near-Infrared Radiation
Graphene Oxide
Alginate Microbeads
Neural Regeneration
Not applicable.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing