, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 999-1004
Date: 11 Nov 2009

Stem cell plasticity, osteogenic differentiation and the third dimension

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Abstract

Different cues present in the cellular environment control basic biological processes. A previously established 3D microwell array was used to study dimensionality-related effects on osteogenic differentiation and plasticity of marrow stromal cells. To enable long-term culture of single cells in the array a novel surface functionalization technique was developed, using the principle of subtractive micro contact printing of fibronectin and surface passivation with a triblock-copolymer. Immunohistochemical stainings showed that when cultivated in 3D microenvironments, marrow stromal cells can be maintained in the wells for up to 7 days and be induced to commit to the osteogenic lineage. In conclusion, this work shows the modification of a 3D microwell array allowing the long term study of single stem cell plasticity and fate in controlled microenvironments.

Markus Rottmar and Maria Håkanson have equally contributed to this work.