Chemically-defined scaffolds created with electrospun synthetic nanofibers to maintain mouse embryonic stem cell culture under feeder-free conditions
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Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are useful resources for drug discovery, developmental biology and disease studies. Cellular microenvironmental cues play critical roles in regulating ESC functions, but it is challenging to control them with synthetic components. Nanofibers hold a potential to create artificial cellular cues for controlling cell adhesion and cell–cell interactions. Mouse ESC (mESC) were cultured on electrospun nanofibers made from polymethylglutarimide (PMGI), which is a synthetic thermoplastic polymer stable under culture conditions. Both topology and the density of PMGI nanofibers were key factors. mESCs on nanofibers had a growth rate comparable to those cultured conventionally and retained their pluripotency. Furthermore, self-renewed ESCs differentiated into all three germ layers thereby providing a reliable way to expand mESCs without feeder cells.
KeywordsExtracellular matrix Microenvironment Mouse embryonic stem cells Nanofiber scaffolds Self-renewal
This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) and Young Scientists (B) of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS, No. 22710116 and 22350104, respectively) and the European Commission through a project contract (CP-FP 214566-2, Nanoscales). We thank Dr. K. Hasegawa, Dr. C. Fockenberg and Ms. M. Nakajima for helpful discussions and supports.
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