The Effect of Controlled Growth Factor Delivery on Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Inside of Fibrin Scaffolds

Willerth SM, Rader A, Sakiyama-Elbert SE (2008). Stem Cell Research, 1:205-218
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The goal of this project was to develop 3-D biomaterial scaffolds that present cues to direct the differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived neural progenitor cells, seeded inside the scaffolds, into mature neural phenotypes, specifically neurons and oligodendrocytes. Release studies were performed to determine the appropriate conditions for retention of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), sonic hedgehog, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) by an affinity-based delivery system incorporated into fibrin scaffolds. Embryoid bodies containing neural progenitors were formed from mouse ES cells, using a 4-/4+ retinoic acid treatment protocol, and then seeded inside fibrin scaffolds containing the drug delivery system. This delivery system was used to deliver various growth factor doses and combinations to the cells seeded inside the scaffolds. Controlled delivery of NT-3 and PDGF simultaneously increased the fraction of neural progenitors, neurons, and oligodendrocytes while decreasing the fraction of astrocytes obtained compared to control cultures seeded inside unmodified fibrin scaffolds with no growth factors present in the medium. These results demonstrate that such a strategy can be used to generate an engineered tissue for the potential treatment of spinal cord injury and could be extended to the study of differentiation in other tissues.

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Posted on October 13, 2008
Posted in: Axon Injury & Repair, Publications Authors: