Efficient differentiation of stem cells encapsulated in a cytocompatible phospholipid polymer hydrogel with tunable physical properties.

PMID 25934282


A large number of lineage-committed progenitor cells are required for advanced regenerative medicine based on cell engineering. Due to their ability to differentiate into multiple cells lines, multipotent stem cells have emerged as a vital source for generating transplantable cells for use in regenerative medicine. Increment in differentiation efficiency of the mesenchymal stem cell was obtained by using hydrogel to adjust the proliferation cycle of encapsulated cells to signal sensitive phase. Three dimensional (3-D) polymer networks composed of poly(2-methacyloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC)-co-n-butyl methacrylate (BMA)-co-p-vinylphenylboronic acid (VPBA)) (PMBV) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) were prepared as a hydrogel. The proliferation of cells encapsulated in the PMBV/PVA hydrogel was highly sensitive to the storage modulus (G') of the hydrogel. That is, when the G' value of the hydrogel was higher than 1.0 kPa, the cell proliferation was ceased and the proliferation cycle of cells was converged to G1 phase, whereas when the G' value was below 1.0 kPa, cell proliferation proceeded. By changing the G' value of hydrogels under encapsulation the cells, proliferation cycle of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells was regulated to G1 phase and thus signal sensitivity were increased. 3-D polymer networks as hydrogels with tunable physical properties can be effectively used to control proliferation and lineage-restricted differentiation of stem cells.