Scaffolds, growth factors, and cells are three essential components in regenerative medicine. Nonwoven filters, which capture cells, provide a scaffold that localizes and concentrates cells near injured tissues. Further, the cells captured on the filters are expected to serve as a local supply of growth factors. In this study, we investigated the growth factors produced by cells captured on nonwoven filters. Nonwoven filters made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA), or chitin (1.2–22 μm fiber diameter) were cut out as 13 mm disks and placed into cell-capturing devices. Human mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissues (h-ASCs) and peripheral blood cells (h-PBCs) were captured on the filter and cultured to evaluate growth factor production. The cell-capture rates strongly depended on the fiber diameter and the number of filter disks. Nonwoven filter disks were composed of PET or PLA fibers with fiber diameters of 1.2–1.8 μm captured over 70 % of leukocytes or 90 % of h-ASCs added. The production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor β1, and platelet-derived growth factor AB were significantly enhanced by the h-PBCs captured on PET or PLA filters. h-ASCs on PLA filters showed significantly enhanced production of VEGF. These enhancements varied with the combination of the nonwoven filter and cells. Because of the enhanced growth factor production, the proliferation of human fibroblasts increased in conditioned medium from h-PBCs on PET filters. This device consisting of nonwoven filters and cells should be investigated further for possible use in the regeneration of impaired tissues.
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