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Ann Biomed Eng. 2018 Aug;46(8):1146-1159. doi: 10.1007/s10439-018-2028-4. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Cell Mimicking Microparticles Influence the Organization, Growth, and Mechanophenotype of Stem Cell Spheroids.

Author information

1
Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, 175 Meeting Street, Box G-B397, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
3
School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
4
Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, 175 Meeting Street, Box G-B397, Providence, RI, 02912, USA. Eric_Darling@brown.edu.
5
Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Eric_Darling@brown.edu.
6
School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Eric_Darling@brown.edu.
7
Department of Orthopaedics, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Eric_Darling@brown.edu.

Abstract

Substrate stiffness is known to alter cell behavior and drive stem cell differentiation, though most research in this area has been restricted to traditional, two-dimensional culture systems rather than more physiologically relevant, three-dimensional (3D) platforms. In this study, we utilized polymer-based, cell mimicking microparticles (CMMPs) to deliver distinct, stable mechanical cues to human adipose derived stem cells in 3D spheroid culture to examine changes in adipogenic differentiation response and mechanophenotype. After 21 days of adipogenic induction, spheroids containing CMMPs (composite spheroids) stiffened in accordance with CMMP elasticity such that spheroids containing the stiffest, ~ 10 kPa, CMMPs were over 27% stiffer than those incorporating the most compliant, ~ 0.25 kPa CMMPs. Adipogenically induced, cell-only spheroids were over 180% larger and 50% more compliant than matched controls. Interestingly, composite spheroids cultured without chemical induction factors dissociated when presented with CMMPs stiffer than ~ 1 kPa, while adipogenic induction factors mitigated this behavior. Gene expression for PPARG and FABP4 were upregulated more than 45-fold in adipogenically induced samples compared to controls but were unaffected by CMMP elasticity, attributed to insufficient cell-CMMP contacts throughout the composite spheroid. In summary, mechanically tuned CMMPs influenced whole-spheroid mechanophenotype and stability but minimally affected differentiation response.

KEYWORDS:

3D spheroid culture; Adipogenesis; Atomic force microscopy (AFM); Elastic and viscoelastic properties; Hyper-compliant microparticles; Self-assembly; Stem cell differentiation; Tissue engineering

PMID:
29671154
PMCID:
PMC6039261
[Available on 2019-08-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10439-018-2028-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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