TitleEngineering the embryoid body microenvironment to direct embryonic stem cell differentiation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBratt-Leal, AM, Carpenedo, RL, McDevitt, TC
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Date PublishedJanuary 2009
KeywordsAnimals, Cell Differentiation, Embryonic Stem Cells, Humans, Tissue Engineering

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent cells capable of differentiating into all somatic and germ cell types. The intrinsic ability of pluripotent cells to generate a vast array of different cells makes ESCs a robust resource for a variety of cell transplantation and tissue engineering applications, however, efficient and controlled means of directing ESC differentiation is essential for the development of regenerative therapies. ESCs are commonly differentiated in vitro by spontaneously self-assembling in suspension culture into 3D cell aggregates called embryoid bodies (EBs), which mimic many of the hallmarks of early embryonic development, yet the 3D organization and structure of EBs also presents unique challenges to effectively direct the differentiation of the cells. ESC differentiation is strongly influenced by physical and chemical signals comprising the local extracellular microenvironment, thus current methods to engineer EB differentiation have focused primarily on spatially controlling EB size, adding soluble factors to the media, or culturing EBs on or within natural or synthetic extracellular matrices. Although most such strategies aim to influence differentiation from the exterior of EBs, engineering the microenvironment directly within EBs enables new opportunities to efficiently direct the fate of the cells by locally controlling the presentation of morphogenic cues.

Alternate JournalBiotechnol. Prog.
PubMed ID19198003
PubMed Central IDPMC2693014
Grant ListR21EB007316 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R21 EB007316-02 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R21 EB007316 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
GM008433 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States