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Hybrid-spheroids incorporating ECM like engineered fragmented fibers potentiate stem cell function by improved cell/cell and cell/ECM interactions

 Taufiq Ahmad  ;  Jinkyu Lee  ;  Young Min Shin  ;  Hyeok Jun Shin  ;  Sajeesh Kumar Madhurakat Perikamana  ;  Sun Hwa Park  ;  Sung Won Kim  ;  Heungsoo Shin 
 ACTA BIOMATERIALIA, Vol.64 : 161-175, 2017-12 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Cell Communication* ; Extracellular Matrix / chemistry* ; Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure ; Humans ; Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism* ; Mesenchymal Stem Cells / ultrastructure ; Nanofibers / chemistry* ; Nanofibers / ultrastructure ; Spheroids, Cellular / metabolism* ; Spheroids, Cellular / ultrastructure ; Stem Cell Niche* ; Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
ECM ; Fragmented fibers (FFs) ; Hybrid-spheroids ; Osteogenic differentiation ; Stem cell niche ; hTMSCs
Extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment is critical for the viability, stemness, and differentiation of stem cells. In this study, we developed hybrid-spheroids of human turbinate mesenchymal stem cells (hTMSCs) by using extracellular matrix (ECM) mimicking fragmented fibers (FFs) for improvement of the viability and functions of hTMSCs. We prepared FFs with average size of 68.26 µm by partial aminolysis of poly L-lactide (PLLA) fibrous sheet (FS), which was coated with polydopamine for improved cell adhesion. The proliferation of hTMSCs within the hybrid-spheroids mixed with fragmented fibers was significantly increased as compared to that from the cell-only group. Cells and fragmented fibers were homogenously distributed with the presence of pore like empty spaces in the structure. LOX-1 staining revealed that the hybrid-spheroids improved the cell viability, which was potentially due to enhanced transport of oxygen through void space generated by engineered ECM. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis confirmed that cells within the hybrid-spheroid formed strong cell junctions and contacts with fragmented fibers. The expression of cell junction proteins including connexin 43 and E-cadherin was significantly upregulated in hybrid-spheroids by 16.53 ± 0.04 and 28.26 ± 0.11-fold greater than that from cell-only group. Similarly, expression of integrin α2, α5, and β1 was significantly enhanced at the same group by 25.72 ± 0.13, 27.48 ± 0.49, and 592.78 ± 0.06-fold, respectively. In addition, stemness markers including Oct-4, Nanog, and Sox2 were significantly upregulated in hybrid-spheroids by 96.56 ± 0.06, 158.95 ± 0.06, and 115.46 ± 0.47-fold, respectively, relative to the cell-only group. Additionally, hTMSCs within the hybrid-spheroids showed significantly greater osteogenic differentiation under osteogenic media conditions. Taken together, our hybrid-spheroids can be an ideal approach for stem cell expansion and serve as a potential carrier for bone regeneration.

Statement of significance: Cells are spatially arranged within extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell/ECM interactions are crucial for cellular functions. Here, we developed a hybrid-spheroid system incorporating engineered ECM prepared from fragmented electrospun fibers to tune stem cell functions. Conventionally prepared cell spheroids with large diameters (>200 µm) is often prone to hypoxia. In contrast, the hybrid-spheroids significantly enhanced viability and proliferation of human turbinate mesenchymal stem cells (hTMSCs) as compared to spheroid prepared from cell only. Under these conditions, the presence of fragmented fibers also improved maintenance of stemness of hTMSCs for longer time cultured in growth media and demonstrated significantly greater osteogenic differentiation under osteogenic media conditions. Thus, the hybrid-spheroids can be used as a delivery carrier for stem cell based therapy or a 3D culture model for in vitro assay.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Medical Engineering (의학공학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Shin, Young Min(신영민)
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