Author(s): Nguyen MK, Jeon O, Krebs MD, Schapira D, Alsberg E
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Abstract To date, RNA interfering molecules have been used to differentiate stem cells on two-dimensional (2D) substrates that do not mimic three-dimensional (3D) microenvironments in the body. Here, in situ forming poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels were engineered for controlled, localized and sustained delivery of RNA interfering molecules to differentiate stem cells encapsulated within the 3D polymer network. RNA interfering molecules were released from the hydrogels in a sustained and controlled manner over the course of 3-6 weeks, and exhibited high bioactivity. Importantly, it was demonstrated that the delivery of siRNA and/or miRNA from the hydrogel constructs enhanced the osteogenic differentiation of encapsulated stem cells. Prolonged delivery of siRNA and/or miRNA from this polymeric scaffold permitted extended regulation of cell behavior, unlike traditional siRNA experiments performed in vitro. This approach presents a powerful new methodology for controlling cell fate, and is promising for multiple applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals