In vitro proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is yet an unresolved challenge. Found in the bone marrow, HSCs can undergo self-renewing cell division and thereby multiply. Recapitulation of the bone marrow environment in order to provide the required signals for their expansion is a promising approach.
Here, we describe a technique to produce biofunctionalized, macroporous poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogels that mimic the spongy 3D architecture of trabecular bones, which host the red, blood-forming bone marrow. After seeding these scaffolds with cells, they can be used as simplified bone marrow analogs for the cultivation of HSCs. This method can easily be conducted with standard laboratory chemicals and equipment. The 3D hydrogels are produced via salt leaching and biofunctionalization of the material is achieved by co-polymerizing the PEGDA with an RGD peptide. Finally, cell seeding and retrieval are described.
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells Biomimetic material 3D scaffolds Bone marrow analog Stem cell niche
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This work was supported by the BioInterfaces programme of the Helmholtz-Association, the “Brigitte Schlieben-Lange-Programm”, the “Käthe und Josef Klinz-Stiftung”, and the BMBF NanoMatFutur programme (FKZ: 13N12968).
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