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Nat Mater. 2011 Oct;10(10):799-806. doi: 10.1038/nmat3101.

Spatially controlled simultaneous patterning of multiple growth factors in three-dimensional hydrogels.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H6, Canada.


Three-dimensional (3D) protein-patterned scaffolds provide a more biomimetic environment for cell culture than traditional two-dimensional surfaces, but simultaneous 3D protein patterning has proved difficult. We developed a method to spatially control the immobilization of different growth factors in distinct volumes in 3D hydrogels, and to specifically guide differentiation of stem/progenitor cells therein. Stem-cell differentiation factors sonic hedgehog (SHH) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) were simultaneously immobilized using orthogonal physical binding pairs, barnase-barstar and streptavidin-biotin, respectively. Barnase and streptavidin were sequentially immobilized using two-photon chemistry for subsequent concurrent complexation with fusion proteins barstar-SHH and biotin-CNTF, resulting in bioactive 3D patterned hydrogels. The technique should be broadly applicable to the patterning of a wide range of proteins.

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