A simple 3-D culture system, made of electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) fibers and coated with defined extracellular proteins that occur naturally in the stem cell niche, allowed dispersed attachment and culture of human pluripotent stem cells devoid of cell aggregation.
A publication from The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm describes how PCL fiber scaffolds coated with recombinant human laminin-521 readily supported initial stem cell attachment and growth from a single-cell suspension without loss of pluripotency markers. Addition of the fusion protein E-cadherin-Fc to the coating greatly enhanced the cell distribution during cultivation and reduced the colony formation. The KTH team applied directed differentiation protocols and showed that this platform could be used to produce well-dispersed nonaggregated 3-D cultures of cardiac, neuronal, and potentially hepatic lineages. They concluded that this cultivation method could provide a suitable platform for further differentiation and production of thin homogeneous cell layers for transplantation, drug screenings, or developmental research.
The PCL electrospun fiber scaffolds were supplied by The Electrospinning Company in a collaborative project that received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/Health 2013 Innovation 2 under grant agreement 601700 HESUB.
Reference: Leino, M, Astrand, C, Hughes-Brittain, N, Robb, B, McKean, R, Chotteau, V 2017. Human embryonic stem cell dispersion in electrospun PCL fiber scaffolds by coating with laminin-521 and E-cadherin-Fc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B