Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics

, Volume 76, Issue 1–2, pp 187–195 | Cite as

A Contact-Based Method for Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into an Endothelial Cell-Phenotype

  • Binata JoddarEmail author
  • Shweta Anil Kumar
  • Alok Kumar
Original Paper


Adult stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are known to possess the ability to augment neovascularization processes and are thus widely popular as an autologous source of progenitor cells. However there is a huge gap in our current knowledge of mechanisms involved in differentiating MSC into endothelial cells (EC), essential for lining engineered blood vessels. To fill up this gap, we attempted to differentiate human MSC into EC, by culturing the former onto chemically fixed layers of EC or its ECM, respectively. We expected direct contact of MSC when cultured atop fixed EC or its ECM, would coax the former to differentiate into EC. Results showed that human MSC cultured atop chemically fixed EC or its ECM using EC-medium showed enhanced expression of CD31, a marker for EC, compared to other cases. Further in all human MSC cultured using EC-medium, typically characteristic cobble stone shaped morphologies were noted in comparison to cells cultured using MSC medium, implying that the differentiated cells were sensitive to soluble VEGF supplementation present in the EC-medium. Results will enhance and affect therapies utilizing autologous MSC as a cell source for generating vascular cells to be used in a variety of tissue engineering applications.


Direct cell–cell contact Stem cell Differentiated cell Chemically fixed substrate Decellularization 



B.J acknowledges the mentoring and technical support received for this work from Dr. Laura Suggs (NIH BUILD Super mentor) at UT Austin. B.J acknowledges NIH BUILD Pilot fund 8UL1GM118970-02 and NIH 1SC2HL134642-01 for funding support. The authors acknowledge the use of the Core Facility at Border Biomedical Research Consortium at UTEP supported by NIH-NIMHD-RCMI Grant No. 2G12MD007592 and help from Dr. Armando Varela. The authors also acknowledge technical assistance received from Swadipta Roy.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

12013_2017_828_MOESM1_ESM.docx (9.6 mb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.Border Biomedical Research Center, University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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