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Acta Biomater. 2016 Apr 15;35:32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Stable engineered vascular networks from human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells cultured in synthetic hydrogels.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.
2
Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI, USA.
3
Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI, USA; Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA; Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California-Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA. Electronic address: mpschwartz@wisc.edu.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA; Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA. Electronic address: wlmurphy@wisc.edu.

Abstract

Here, we describe an in vitro strategy to model vascular morphogenesis where human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs) are encapsulated in peptide-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels, either on standard well plates or within a passive pumping polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) tri-channel microfluidic device. PEG hydrogels permissive towards cellular remodeling were fabricated using thiol-ene photopolymerization to incorporate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-degradable crosslinks and CRGDS cell adhesion peptide. Time lapse microscopy, immunofluorescence imaging, and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) demonstrated that iPSC-ECs formed vascular networks through mechanisms that were consistent with in vivo vasculogenesis and angiogenesis when cultured in PEG hydrogels. Migrating iPSC-ECs condensed into clusters, elongated into tubules, and formed polygonal networks through sprouting. Genes upregulated for iPSC-ECs cultured in PEG hydrogels relative to control cells on tissue culture polystyrene (TCP) surfaces included adhesion, matrix remodeling, and Notch signaling pathway genes relevant to in vivo vascular development. Vascular networks with lumens were stable for at least 14days when iPSC-ECs were encapsulated in PEG hydrogels that were polymerized within the central channel of the microfluidic device. Therefore, iPSC-ECs cultured in peptide-functionalized PEG hydrogels offer a defined platform for investigating vascular morphogenesis in vitro using both standard and microfluidic formats.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs) cultured in synthetic hydrogels self-assemble into capillary networks through mechanisms consistent with in vivo vascular morphogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

3D culture; Biomaterials; Blood Vessel; Microfluidic; Thiolene; Tissue Engineering

PMID:
26945632
PMCID:
PMC4829480
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2016.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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