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  • Nanofiber matrices promote the neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursors in vitro.

Nanofiber matrices promote the neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursors in vitro.

Tissue engineering. Part A (2010-10-27)
Vasiliki Mahairaki, Shawn H Lim, Gregory T Christopherson, Leyan Xu, Igor Nasonkin, Christopher Yu, Hai-Quan Mao, Vassilis E Koliatsos
ABSTRACT

The potential of human embryonic stem (ES) cells as experimental therapies for neuronal replacement has recently received considerable attention. In view of the organization of the mature nervous system into distinct neural circuits, key challenges of such therapies are the directed differentiation of human ES cell-derived neural precursors (NPs) into specific neuronal types and the directional growth of axons along specified trajectories. In the present study, we cultured human NPs derived from the NIH-approved ES line BGO1 on polycaprolactone fiber matrices of different diameter (i.e., nanofibers and microfibers) and orientation (i.e., aligned and random); fibers were coated with poly-L-ornithine/laminin to mimic the extracellular matrix and support the adhesion, viability, and differentiation of NPs. On aligned fibrous meshes, human NPs adopt polarized cell morphology with processes extending along the axis of the fiber, whereas NPs on plain tissue culture surfaces or random fiber substrates form nonpolarized neurite networks. Under differentiation conditions, human NPs cultured on aligned fibrous substrates show a higher rate of neuronal differentiation than other matrices; 62% and 86% of NPs become TUJ1 (+) early neurons on aligned micro- and nanofibers, respectively, whereas only 32% and 27% of NPs acquire the same fate on random micro- and nanofibers. Metabolic cell activity/viability studies reveal that fiber alignment and diameter also have an effect on NP viability, but only in the presence of mitogens. Our findings demonstrate that fibrous substrates serve as an artificial extracellular matrix and provide a microenviroment that influences key aspects of the neuronal differentiation of ES-derived NPs.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Poly-L-ornithine solution, mol wt 30,000-70,000, 0.01%, sterile-filtered, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
Sigma-Aldrich
Poly-L-ornithine hydrobromide, mol wt 30,000-70,000
Sigma-Aldrich
Poly-L-ornithine hydrobromide, mol wt 5,000-15,000
Sigma-Aldrich
Poly-L-ornithine hydrobromide, mol wt >100,000