TitleMesenchymal morphogenesis of embryonic stem cells dynamically modulates the biophysical microtissue niche.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKinney, MA, Saeed, R, McDevitt, TC
JournalScientific Reports
Date Published2014
KeywordsBiomaterials, Morphogenesis, Stem Cells

Stem cell fate and function are dynamically modulated by the interdependent relationships between biochemical and biophysical signals constituting the local 3D microenvironment. While approaches to recapitulate the stem cell niche have been explored for directing stem cell differentiation, a quantitative relationship between embryonic stem cell (ESC) morphogenesis and intrinsic biophysical cues within three-dimensional microtissues has not been established. In this study, we demonstrate that mesenchymal embryonic microtissues induced by BMP4 exhibited increased stiffness and viscosity accompanying differentiation, with cytoskeletal tension significantly contributing to multicellular stiffness. Perturbation of the cytoskeleton during ESC differentiation led to modulation of the biomechanical and gene expression profiles, with the resulting cell phenotype and biophysical properties being highly correlated by multivariate analyses. Together, this study elucidates the dynamics of biophysical and biochemical signatures within embryonic microenvironments, with broad implications for monitoring tissue dynamics, modeling pathophysiological and embryonic morphogenesis and directing stem cell patterning and differentiation.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID24598818
PubMed Central IDPMC3944369
Grant ListR01 EB010061 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States