Navigation Links
Stem cell proliferation and differentiation observed within hydrogel

Stem cells can be coaxed to grow into new bone or new cartilage better and faster when given the right molecular cues and room inside a water-loving gel, researchers at Case Western Reserve University show.

By creating a three-dimensional checkerboardone with alternating highly connected and less connected spaces within the hydrogelthe team found adjusting the size of the micropattern could affect stem cell behaviors, such as proliferation and differentiation.

Inducing how and where stem cells growand into the right kind of cell in three dimensionshas proven a challenge to creating useful stem cell therapies. This technique holds promise for studying how physical, chemical and other influences affect cell behavior in three-dimensions, and, ultimately, as a method to grow tissues for regenerative medicine applications.

"We think that control over local biomaterial properties may allow us to guide the formation of complex tissues," said Eben Alsberg, an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve. "With this system, we can regulate cell proliferation and cell-specific differentiation into, for example, bone-like or cartilage-like cells."

Oju Jeon, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Biomedical Engineering, pursued this work with Alsberg. Their work is described April 11, 2013 in the online edition of Advanced Functional Materials.

Hydrogels are hydrophilic three-dimensional networks of water-soluble polymers bonded, or crosslinked, to one another. Crosslinks increase rigidity and alter the porous structure inside the gel.

Alsberg and Jeon used a hydrogel of oxidized methacrylated alginate and an 8-arm poly(ethylene glycol) amine. A chemical reaction between the alginate and the poly(ethylene glycol) creates crosslinks that provide structure within the gel.

They tweaked the mix so that a second set of crosslinks forms when exposed to light. They used checkerboard masks to create patterns of alternating singly and doubly crosslinked spaces.

The spaces, which varied in size at 25, 50, 100 and 200 micrometers across, were evenly singly and doubly crosslinked.

Human stem cells isolated from fat tissue were encapsulated in the singly and doubly crosslinked regions. The doubly-crosslinked spaces are comparatively cluttered with structures. The cells grew into clusters in the singly-crosslinked regions, but remained mostly isolated in the doubly crosslinked regions.

The larger the spaces in the checkerboard, the larger the clusters grew.

Cells were cultivated in media that promote differentiation into either bone or cartilage.

In both the singly and doubly crosslinked spaces, stem cells increasingly differentiated according to the media composition as the space size increased. The results were more dramatic in the singly-crosslinked spaces.

"Potentially, what's happening is the single-crosslinked regions allow better nutrient transport and provide more space for cells to interact and, because it's less restrictive, there's space for new cells and matrix production," Alsberg said. "Cluster formation, in turn, may influence proliferation and differentiation. Differences in mechanical properties between regions likely also regulate the cell behaviors."

The researchers are continuing to use micropatterning to understand the influences of biomaterials on stem cell fate decisions. This approach may permit local control over cell behavior and, ultimately, allow the engineering of complex tissues comprised of multiple cell types using a single stem cell source.


Contact: Kevin Mayhood
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology news :

1. Successful stem cell differentiation requires DNA compaction, study finds
2. The first ant methylomes uncover the relationship between DNA methylation and caste differentiation
3. Warmest spring on record causes earliest flowering ever observed in eastern U.S.
4. Boston Healthcare Associates Roundtable Explores Challenges and Opportunities Surrounding the Value of Big Data within the Life Sciences
5. New study suggests that Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years
6. New type of bacterial protection found within cells
7. One law to rule them all -- sizes within a species appear to follow a universal distribution
8. Morphing DNA hydrogel flows like liquid but remembers its original shape
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service (SaaS) ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication between ... Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face virtual ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, ... entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to ... he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set ... "In certain areas there needs ... economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval ... of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory ...
Breaking Biology Technology: