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Biomaterials. 2015;53:621-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.02.121. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Arterial specification of endothelial cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells in a biomimetic flow bioreactor.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. Electronic address: laura.niklason@yale.edu.

Abstract

Endothelial cells (ECs) exist in different microenvironments in vivo, including under different levels of shear stress in arteries versus veins. Standard stem cell differentiation protocols to derive ECs and EC-subtypes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generally use growth factors or other soluble factors in an effort to specify cell fate. In this study, a biomimetic flow bioreactor was used to subject hiPSC-derived ECs (hiPSC-ECs) to shear stress to determine the impacts on phenotype and upregulation of markers associated with an anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, arterial-like phenotype. The in vitro bioreactor system was able to efficiently mature hiPSC-ECs into arterial-like cells in 24 h, as demonstrated by qRT-PCR for arterial markers EphrinB2, CXCR4, Conexin40 and Notch1, as well protein-level expression of Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD). Furthermore, the exogenous addition of soluble factors was not able to fully recapitulate this phenotype that was imparted by shear stress exposure. The induction of these phenotypic changes was biomechanically mediated in the shear stress bioreactor. This biomimetic flow bioreactor is an effective means for the differentiation of hiPSC-ECs toward an arterial-like phenotype, and is amenable to scale-up for culturing large quantities of cells for tissue engineering applications.

KEYWORDS:

Arterial; Bioreactor; Endothelial cells; Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs); Shear stress; Vascular tissue engineering

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