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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Apr 17;381(4):508-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.02.072. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Adapting collagen/CNT matrix in directing hESC differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Biological, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, 60616, USA.


The lineage selection in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation relies on both the growth factors and small molecules in the media and the physical characteristics of the micro-environment. In this work, we utilized various materials, including the collagen-carbon nanotube (collagen/CNT) composite material, as cell culture matrices to examine the impact of matrix properties on hESC differentiation. Our AFM analysis indicated that the collagen/CNT formed rigid fibril bundles, which polarized the growth and differentiation of hESCs, resulting in more than 90% of the cells to the ectodermal lineage in Day 3 in the media commonly used for spontaneous differentiation. We also observed the differentiated cells followed the coarse alignment of the collagen/CNT matrix. The research not only revealed the responsiveness of hESCs to matrix properties, but also provided a simple yet efficient way to direct the hESC differentiation, and imposed the potential of forming neural-cell based bio-devices for further applications.

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