Stem cell plasticity, osteogenic differentiation and the third dimension
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- Rottmar, M., Håkanson, M., Smith, M. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2010) 21: 999. doi:10.1007/s10856-009-3926-7
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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.