First-in-Human Segmental Esophageal Reconstruction Using a Bioengineered Mesenchymal Stromal Cell–Seeded Implant

Johnathon M. Aho, Saverio La Francesca, Scott D. Olson, Fabio Triolo, Jeff Bouchard, Laura Mondano, Sumati Sundaram, Christina Roffidal, Charles S. Cox, Louis M. Wong Kee Song, Sameh M. Said, William Fodor, Dennis A. Wigle

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6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Resection and reconstruction of the esophagus remains fraught with morbidity and mortality. Recently, data from a porcine reconstruction model revealed that segmental esophageal reconstruction using an autologous mesenchymal stromal cell-seeded polyurethane graft (Cellspan esophageal implant [CEI]) can facilitate esophageal regrowth and regeneration. To this end, a patient requiring a full circumferential esophageal segmental reconstruction after a complex multiorgan tumor resection was approved for an investigational treatment under the Food and Drug Administration Expanded Access Use (Investigational New Drug 17402). Methods: Autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (Ad-MSCs) were isolated from the Emergency Investigational New Drug patient approximately 4 weeks before surgery from an adipose tissue biopsy specimen. The Ad-MSCs were grown and expanded under current Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing conditions. The cells were then seeded onto a polyurethane fiber mesh scaffold (Cellspan scaffold) and cultured in a custom bioreactor to manufacture the final CEI graft. The cell-seeded scaffold was then shipped to the surgical site for surgical implantation. After removal of a tumor mass and a full circumferential 4 cm segment of the esophagus that was invaded by the tumor, the CEI was implanted by suturing the tubular CEI graft to both ends of the remaining native esophagus using end-to-end anastomosis. Results: In this case report, we found that a clinical-grade, tissue-engineered esophageal graft can be used for segmental esophageal reconstruction in a human patient. This report reveals that the graft supports regeneration of the esophageal conduit. Histologic analysis of the tissue postmortem, 7.5 months after the implantation procedure, revealed complete luminal epithelialization and partial esophageal tissue regeneration. Conclusions: Autologous Ad-MSC seeded onto a tubular CEI tissue-engineered graft stimulates tissue regeneration following implantation after a full circumferential esophageal resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100216
JournalJTO Clinical and Research Reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

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  • Artificial organ
  • Esophageal reconstruction
  • Esophageal replacement
  • Tissue engineered graft


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