Controlling Osteogenic Stem Cell Differentiation via Soft Bioinspired HydrogelsReport as inadecuate

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Osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells hMSCs is guided by various physical and biochemical factors. Among these factors, modulus i.e., rigidiy of the ECM has gained significant attention as a physical osteoinductive signal that can contribute to endochondral ossification of a cartilaginous skeletal template. However, MSCs also participate in intramembranous bone formation, which occurs de novo from within or on a more compliant tissue environment. To further understand the role of the matrix interactions in this process, we evaluated osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs cultured on low moduli 102, 390 or 970 Pa polyN-isopropylacrylamide pNIPAAm based semi-interpenetrating networks sIPN modified with the integrin engaging peptide bsp-RGD15 0, 105 or 210 µM. Cell adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs, as measured by alkaline phosphatase ALP, runt-related transcription factor 2 RUNX2, bone sialoprotein-2 iBSP, and osteocalcien OCN protein expression, was highest on substrates with the highest modulus and peptide concentrations. However, within this range of substrate stiffness, many osteogenic cellular functions were enhanced by increasing either the modulus or the peptide density. These findings suggest that within a compliant and low modulus substrate, a high affinity adhesive ligand serves as a substitute for a rigid matrix to foster osteogenic differentiation.

Author: Amit K. Jha, Wesley M. Jackson, Kevin E. Healy



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