skip to main content


Title: Surface Engineering of Auxetic Scaffolds for Neural and Vascular Differentiation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Abstract

Auxetic materials are the materials that can display negative Poisson's ratio that describes the degree to which a material contracts (or expands) transversally when axially strained. Human stem cells sense the mechanical properties of the microenvironment, including material surface properties, stiffness, and Poisson's ratio. In this study, six different auxetic polyurethane (PU) foams with different elastic modulus (0.7–1.8 kPa) and Poisson's ratio (−0.1 to −0.5) are used to investigate lineage specification of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The surfaces of the foams are modified with chitosan or heparin to enhance the adhesion and proliferation of hiPSCs. Then, the vascular and neural differentiation of hiPSCs are investigated on different foams with distinct elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio. With different auxetic foams, cells show differential adherent density and differentiation capacity. Chitosan and heparin surface functionalization promote the hindbrain and hippocampal markers, but not forebrain markers during neural patterning of hiPSCs. Properly surface engineered auxetic scaffolds can also promote vascular differentiation of hiPSCs. This study represents a versatile and multifunctional scaffold fabrication approach and can lead to a suitable system for establishing hiPSC culture models in applications of neurovascular disease modeling and drug screening.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1917618 2100987
NSF-PAR ID:
10383972
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Healthcare Materials
Volume:
12
Issue:
6
ISSN:
2192-2640
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Electrical stimulation (ES) within a conductive scaffold is potentially beneficial in encouraging the differentiation of stem cells toward a neuronal phenotype. To improve stem cell‐based regenerative therapies, it is essential to use electroconductive scaffolds with appropriate stiffnesses to regulate the amount and location of ES delivery. Herein, biodegradable electroconductive substrates with different stiffnesses are fabricated from chitosan‐grafted‐polyaniline (CS‐g‐PANI) copolymers. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on soft conductive scaffolds show a morphological change with significant filopodial elongation after electrically stimulated culture along with upregulation of neuronal markers and downregulation of glial markers. Compared to stiff conductive scaffolds and non‐conductive CS scaffolds, soft conductive CS‐g‐PANI scaffolds promote increased expression of microtubule‐associated protein 2 (MAP2) and neurofilament heavy chain (NF‐H) after application of ES. At the same time, there is a decrease in the expression of the glial markers glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin after ES. Furthermore, the elevation of intracellular calcium [Ca2+] during spontaneous, cell‐generated Ca2+transients further suggests that electric field stimulation of hMSCs cultured on conductive substrates can promote a neural‐like phenotype. The findings suggest that the combination of the soft conductive CS‐g‐PANI substrate and ES is a promising new tool for enhancing neuronal tissue engineering outcomes.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Human cerebellum consists of high density and complexity of neurons. Thus, it is challenging to differentiate cerebellar-like organoids with similar cellular markers and function to the human brain. Our previous study showed that the combination of retinoic acid (RA), Wingless/integrated (Wnt) activator, and Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) activator promotes cerebellar differentiation from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). This study examined phenotypic, metabolic, and biogenesis in early cerebellar development. Cerebellum spheroids were differentiated from human iPSK3 cells. During day 7–14, RA and Wnt activator CHIR99021 were used and SHH activator purmorphamine (PMR) was added later to promote ventralization. Gene expression for early cerebellar layer markers, metabolism, and extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis were characterized. Zinc-induced neurotoxicity was investigated as a proof-of-concept of neurotoxicity study. Flow cytometry results showed that there was no significant difference in NEPH3, PTF1A, OLIG2, and MATH1 protein expression between RCP (RA-CHIR-PMR) versus the control condition. However, the expression of cerebellar genes for the molecular layer (BHLE22), the granule cell layer (GABRB2,PAX6,TMEM266,KCNIP4), the Bergmann glial cells (QK1,DAO), and the Purkinje cell layer (ARHGEF33,KIT,MX1,MYH10,PPP1R17,SCGN) was significantly higher in the RCP condition than the control. The shift in metabolic pathways toward glycolysis was observed for RCP condition. The EV biogenesis marker expression was retained. Mild zinc-induced neurotoxicity may exist when zinc exposure exceeds 1.0 µM. RCP treatment can promote specific cerebellar-like differentiation from hiPSCs indicated by gene expression of early cerebellar markers and regionally enriched genes. The higher cerebellar marker expression is accompanied by the elevated glycolysis with the retained EV biogenesis. This study should advance the understanding of biomarkers during early cerebellar development for cerebellum organoid engineering and neurotoxicity study.

     
    more » « less
  3. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) matrix composites have become increasingly popular across industries such as aerospace and automotive industries due to its outstanding mechanical properties and significant weight saving capability. CFRP composites are also widely known to be highly tailorable. For instance, different laminate-level mechanical properties for CFRP composites can be achieved by varying the individual carbon fiber laminar arrangements, among one of them is the Poisson’s ratio. Conventional materials have a positive Poisson’s ratio (PPR), visualize any conventional materials in a 2D block shape, when stretching that material in longitudinal direction, contraction follows on the transverse direction, whereas for materials with a negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR), stretching in the longitudinal direction leads to expansion in the transverse direction. Materials with NPRs have been shown to improve the indentation and impact resistances, when compared to equivalent materials with PPRs. However, producing NPRs could potentially compromise other properties, such as tensile properties, which has not been reported. The current work investigates the effects of NPR on the tensile properties of CFRP composites. Specifically, a laminatelevel NPR of -0.4094 in the in-plane direction is achieved through ply arrangement of CFRP composites using classical lamination theory (CLT). The non-auxetic counterpart CFRP composites are designed to produce an PPR of 0.1598 in the in-plane direction while simultaneously match their elastic moduli in three directions with those of the auxetic composites. Results show that the predicted tensile modulus and in-plane Poisson’s ratio were in excellent agreement with the experiment results. It was found that the ultimate tensile strength and failure strain or ductility of auxetic specimens were on average 40% lower than those of the conventional CFRP composites.

     
    more » « less
  4. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) contribute to a variety of signaling processes and the overall physiological and pathological states of stem cells and tissues. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have unique characteristics that can mimic embryonic tissue development. There is growing interest in the use of EVs derived from hiPSCs as therapeutics, biomarkers, and drug delivery vehicles. However, little is known about the characteristics of EVs secreted by hiPSCs and paracrine signaling during tissue morphogenesis and lineage specification. Methods: In this study, the physical and biological properties of EVs isolated from hiPSC-derived neural progenitors (ectoderm), hiPSC-derived cardiac cells (mesoderm), and the undifferentiated hiPSCs (healthy iPSK3 and Alzheimer’s-associated SY-UBH lines) were analyzed. Results: Nanoparticle tracking analysis and electron microscopy results indicate that hiPSC-derived EVs have an average size of 100–250 nm. Immunoblot analyses confirmed the enrichment of exosomal markers Alix, CD63, TSG101, and Hsc70 in the purified EV preparations. MicroRNAs including miR-133, miR-155, miR-221, and miR-34a were differently expressed in the EVs isolated from distinct hiPSC lineages. Treatment of cortical spheroids with hiPSC-EVs in vitro resulted in enhanced cell proliferation (indicated by BrdU+ cells) and axonal growth (indicated by β-tubulin III staining). Furthermore, hiPSC-derived EVs exhibited neural protective abilities in Aβ42 oligomer-treated cultures, enhancing cell viability and reducing oxidative stress. Our results demonstrate that the paracrine signaling provided by tissue context-dependent EVs derived from hiPSCs elicit distinct responses to impact the physiological state of cortical spheroids. Overall, this study advances our understanding of cell‒cell communication in the stem cell microenvironment and provides possible therapeutic options for treating neural degeneration. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Xeno‐free, chemically defined poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)‐based hydrogels are being increasingly used for in vitro culture and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). These synthetic matrices provide tunable gelation and adaptable material properties crucial for guiding stem cell fate. Here, sequential norbornene‐click chemistries are integrated to form synthetic, dynamically tunable PEG–peptide hydrogels for hiPSCs culture and differentiation. Specifically, hiPSCs are photoencapsulated in thiol–norbornene hydrogels crosslinked by multiarm PEG–norbornene (PEG–NB) and proteaselabile crosslinkers. These matrices are used to evaluate hiPSC growth under the influence of extracellular matrix properties. Tetrazine–norbornene (Tz–NB) click reaction is then employed to dynamically stiffen the cell‐laden hydrogels. Fast reactive Tz and its stable derivative methyltetrazine (mTz) are tethered to multiarm PEG, yielding mono‐functionalized PEG‐Tz, PEG‐mTz, and dualfunctionalized PEG‐Tz/mTz that react with PEG–NB to form additional crosslinks in the cell‐laden hydrogels. The versatility of Tz‐NB stiffening is demonstrated with different Tz‐modified macromers or by intermittent incubation of PEG‐Tz for temporal stiffening. Finally, the Tz–NB‐mediated dynamic stiffening is explored for 4D culture and definitive endoderm differentiation of hiPSCs. Overall, this dynamic hydrogel platform affords exquisite controls of hydrogel crosslinking for serving as a xeno‐free and dynamic stem cell niche.

     
    more » « less