Interplay between degradability and integrin signaling on mesenchymal stem cell function within porous poly(Ethylene glycol) microgel scaffolds
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© 2019 Omnipress - All rights reserved. Statement of Purpose: The assembly of hydrogel microparticles or microgels into 3D microporous scaffolds is an emerging paradigm in tissue engineering. In contrast to conventional bulk hydrogels, cells are not embedded in a restrictive nanoporous mesh and can more readily spread and proliferate. We also previously studied poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) microgel scaffolds and showed that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) seeded in these scaffolds can respond to microgel stiffness by activating mechanosensing pathways.1 However, we also found that the total cell number drops over 7-day culture in non-degradable PEG microgel scaffolds, indicating that cells need more space to continuously proliferate in these scaffolds. As the overall porosity of these scaffolds ranges from 10-35%, there is a need to introduce degradability for long-term cell culture so that cells can remodel their microenvironment over time. In this study, we compared the effects of crosslinkers with differing degradability on hMSC proliferation. We also incorporated different integrin binding ligands to study the interplay between these variables.
author list (cited authors)
Xin, S., Gregory, C., & Alge, D.