Author(s): Candiello J, Singh SS, Task K, Kumta PN, Banerjee I
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have been implicated to have tremendous impact in regenerative therapeutics of various diseases, including Type 1 Diabetes. Upon generation of functionally mature ESC derived islet-like cells, they need to be implanted into diabetic patients to restore the loss of islet activity. Encapsulation in alginate microcapsules is a promising route of implantation, which can protect the cells from the recipient's immune system. While there has been a significant investigation into islet encapsulation over the past decade, the feasibility of encapsulation and differentiation of ESCs has been less explored. Research over the past few years has identified the cellular mechanical microenvironment to play a central role in phenotype commitment of stem cells. Therefore it will be important to design the encapsulation material to be supportive to cellular functionality and maturation. RESULTS: This work investigated the effect of stiffness of alginate substrate on initial differentiation and phenotype commitment of murine ESCs. ESCs grown on alginate substrates tuned to similar biomechanical properties of native pancreatic tissue elicited both an enhanced and incrementally responsive differentiation towards endodermal lineage traits. CONCLUSIONS: The insight into these biophysical phenomena found in this study can be used along with other cues to enhance the differentiation of embryonic stem cells toward a specific lineage fate.
This article was published in J Biol Eng
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials