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  1. Costameres, as striated muscle-specific cell adhesions, anchor both M-lines and Z-lines of the sarcomeres to the extracellular matrix. Previous studies have demonstrated that costameres intimately participate in the initial assembly of myofibrils. However, how costamere maturation cooperates with myofibril growth is still underexplored. In this work, we analyzed zyxin (costameres), α-actinin (Z-lines) and myomesin (M-lines) to track the behaviors of costameres and myofibrils within the cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-CMs). We quantified the assembly and maturation of costameres associated with the process of myofibril growth within the hiPSC-CMs in a time-dependent manner. We found that asynchrony existed not only between the maturation of myofibrils and costameres, but also between the formation of Z-costameres and M-costameres that associated with different structural components of the sarcomeres. This study helps us gain more understanding of how costameres assemble and incorporate into the cardiomyocyte sarcomeres, which sheds a light on cardiomyocyte mechanobiology.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Combination of stem cell technology and 3D biofabrication approaches provides physiological similarity to in vivo tissues and the capability of repairing and regenerating damaged human tissues. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely used for regenerative medicine applications because of their immunosuppressive properties and multipotent potentials. To obtain large amount of high-quality MSCs without patient donation and invasive procedures, we differentiated MSCs from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-MSCs) using serum-free E6 media supplemented with only one growth factor (bFGF) and two small molecules (SB431542 and CHIR99021). The differentiated cells showed a high expression of common MSC-specific surface markers (CD90, CD73, CD105, CD106, CD146, and CD166) and a high potency for osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation. With these cells, we have been able to manufacture MSC tissue rings with high consistency and robustness in pluronic-coated reusable PDMS devices. The MSC tissue rings were characterized based on inner diameter and outer ring diameter and observed cell-type-dependent tissue contraction induced by cell-matrix interaction. Our approach of simplified hiPSC-MSC differentiation, modular fabrication procedure, and serum-free culture conditions has a great potential for scalable manufacturing of MSC tissue rings for different regenerative medicine applications.