Engineering bioactive nanoparticles to rejuvenate vascular p
Fetal exposure to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) predisposes children to future health complications including type-2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. A key mechanism by which these complications occur is through stress-induced dysfunction of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), including endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs). In this study, a strategy to rejuvenate circulating vascular progenitor cells by conjugation of drug-loaded liposomal nanoparticles directly to the surface of GDM-exposed ECFCs (GDM-ECFCs) is reported. Bioactive nanoparticles can be robustly conjugated to the surface of ECFCs without altering cell viability and key progenitor phenotypes.

Promising results from this study warrant future investigations on the prospect of the proposed strategy to improve dysfunctional vascular progenitor cells in the context of other chronic diseases, which has broad implications for addressing various cardiovascular complications, as well as advancing tissue repair and regenerative medicine.