Biochemical and biomechanical signals regulate stem cell function in the niche environments in vivo. Current in vitro culture of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) uses laminin (LN-511) to provide mimetic biochemical signaling (LN-521 for human systems) to maintain stemness. Alternative approaches propose topographical cues to provide biomechanical cues, however combined biochemical and topographic cues may better mimic the in vivo environment, but are largely unexplored for in vitro stem cell expansion. In this study, we directly compare in vitro signals from LN-511 and/or topographic cues to maintain stemness, using systematically-varied submicron pillar patterns or flat surfaces with or without preadsorbed LN-511. The adhesion of cells, colony formation, expression of the pluripotency marker,octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4), and transcriptome profiling were characterized. We observed that either biochemical or topographic signals could maintain stemness of mESCs in feeder-free conditions, indicated by high-level Oct4 and gene profiling by RNAseq. The combination of LN-511 with nanotopography reduced colony growth, while maintaining stemness markers, shifted the cellular phenotype indicating that the integration of biochemical and topographic signals is antagonistic. Overall, significantly faster (up to 2.5 times) colony growth was observed at nanotopographies without LN-511, suggesting for improved ESC expansion.

StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023


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