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Difference in suitable mechanical properties of three-dimensional, synthetic scaffolds for self-renewing mouse embryonic stem cells of different genetic backgrounds

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Lee, Myongook; Ahn, Jong Il; Ahn, Ji Yeon; Yang, Woo Sub; Hubbell, Jeffrey A.; Lim, Jeong Mook; Lee, Seung Tae

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John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials, Vol.105 No.8, pp.2261-2268
We evaluated whether the genetic background of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) affects the properties suitable for three-dimensional (3D) synthetic scaffolds for cell self-renewal. Inbred R1 and hybrid B6D2F1 mouse ESC lines were cultured for 7 days in hydrogel scaffolds with different properties derived from conjugating 7.5, 10, 12.5, or 15% (wt/vol) vinylsulfone-functionalized three-, four-, or eight-arm polyethylene glycol (PEG) with dicysteine-containing crosslinkers with an intervening matrix metalloproteinase-specific cleavage sites. Cell proliferation and expression of self-renewal-related genes and proteins by ESCs cultured in feeder-free or containing 2D culture plate or 3D hydrogel were monitored. As a preliminary experiment, the E14 ESC-customized synthetic 3D microenvironment did not maintain self-renewal of either the R1 or B6D2F1 ESCs. The best R1 cell proliferation (10.04 vs. 0.16-4.39; p<0.0001) was observed in the four-arm 7.5% PEG-based hydrogels than those with other properties, whereas the F1 ESCs showed better proliferation when they were embedded in the three-arm 10% hydrogels. Self-renewal-related gene and protein expression by ESCs after feeder-free 3D culture was generally maintained compared with the feeder-containing 2D culture, but expression patterns and quantities differed. However, the feeder-free 3D culture yielded better expression than the feeder-free 2D culture. In conclusion, genetic background determined the suitability of hydrogel scaffolds for self-renewal of ESCs, which requires customization for the mechanical properties of each cell line. (C) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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