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ACS Nano. 2016 Mar 22;10(3):3342-55. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b06985. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Nanotopography Promotes Pancreatic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

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Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Regeneration, Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Science Campus, Korea University , 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Korea.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) , 77 Cheongam-Ro, Nam-gu, Pohang, Gyeongbuk 37673, Korea.


Although previous studies suggest that nanotopographical features influence properties and behaviors of stem cells, only a few studies have attempted to derive clinically useful somatic cells from human pluripotent stem cells using nanopatterned surfaces. In the present study, we report that polystyrene nanopore-patterned surfaces significantly promote the pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. We compared different diameters of nanopores and showed that 200 nm nanopore-patterned surfaces highly upregulated the expression of PDX1, a critical transcription factor for pancreatic development, leading to an approximately 3-fold increase in the percentage of differentiating PDX1(+) pancreatic progenitors compared with control flat surfaces. Furthermore, in the presence of biochemical factors, 200 nm nanopore-patterned surfaces profoundly enhanced the derivation of pancreatic endocrine cells producing insulin, glucagon, or somatostatin. We also demonstrate that nanopore-patterned surface-induced upregulation of PDX1 is associated with downregulation of TAZ, suggesting the potential role of TAZ in nanopore-patterned surface-mediated mechanotransduction. Our study suggests that appropriate cytokine treatments combined with nanotopographical stimulation could be a powerful tool for deriving a high purity of desired cells from human pluripotent stem cells.


human embryonic stem cells; induced pluripotent stem cells; nanoinjection molding; pancreatic differentiation; polystyrene nanopore surfaces

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