8. STEM CELL DIFFERENTIATION CAN BE DIRECTED BY SCAFFOLDS WITH ADHESIVE DOMAINS

Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Adam J Engler

Primary Student
Name: Somyot Chirasatitsin
Email: schirasa@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-246-1469
Grad Year: 2012

Abstract
Human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) differentiation has been examined extensively in two dimensional environments, but most materials examined to date do not mimic the adhesive heterogeneity of native extracellular matrix; as such, it is unclear if the spatial arrangement and size of these adhesives regions play any role in guiding stem cell fate. Here, we report on a process where porous foams are fabricated by high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) templating using amphiphilic copolymers. The different copolymers assemble at the oil-water interface and undergo confined phase separation. This creates foams? surface topology with nanoscopic domains of cell inert and active chemistries detected by the chemical force spectroscopy based on the atomic force microscopy. These results qualitatively resemble native matrix, and results show localized protein deposition in domains of active chemistry. hMSC adhesion then occurs through specific copolymer domains. Interestingly, without the induction media, hMSCs are likely to express linage specification corresponding to these 'patchy' matrices, and their expression depends on stem cell origin: marrow-derived and mesenchymal progenitor cells exhibit fundamentally different differentiation patterns, adipo- and osteo-genic, respectively. Together these data implicate adhesion as a complex regulator of cell fate.

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