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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2004 Nov 5;88(3):313-20.

Three-dimensional porous alginate scaffolds provide a conducive environment for generation of well-vascularized embryoid bodies from human embryonic stem cells.

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Biotechnology Interdisciplinary Unit, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be instigated through the formation of embryo-like aggregates in suspension, termed human embryoid bodies (hEBs). Controlling cell aggregation and agglomeration during hEBs formation has a profound effect on the extent of cell proliferation and differentiation. In a previous work, we showed that control over hEBs formation and differentiation can be achieved via cultivation of hESC suspensions in a rotating bioreactor system. We now report that hEBs can be generated directly from hESC suspensions within three-dimensional (3D) porous alginate scaffolds. The confining environments of the alginate scaffold pores enabled efficient formation of hEBs with a relatively high degree of cell proliferation and differentiation; encouraged round, small-sized hEBs; and induced vasculogenesis in the forming hEBs to a greater extent than in static or rotating cultures. We therefore conclude that differentiation of hEBs can be induced and directed by physical constraints in addition to chemical cues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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