The alignment and fusion assembly of adipose-derived stem cells on mechanically patterned matrices

Departments of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
Biomaterials (Impact Factor: 8.31). 07/2012; 33(29):6943-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.06.057
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell patterning is typically accomplished by selectively depositing proteins for cell adhesion only on patterned regions; however in tissues, cells are also influenced by mechanical stimuli, which can also result in patterned arrangements of cells. We developed a mechanically-patterned hydrogel to observe and compare it to extracellular matrix (ECM) ligand patterns to determine how to best regulate and improve cell type-specific behaviors. Ligand-based patterning on hydrogels was not robust over prolonged culture, but cells on mechanically-patterned hydrogels differentially sorted based on stiffness preference: myocytes and adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) underwent stiffness-mediated migration, i.e. durotaxis, and remained on myogenic hydrogel regions. Myocytes developed aligned striations and fused on myogenic stripes of the mechanically-patterned hydrogel. ASCs aligned and underwent myogenesis, but their fusion rate increased, as did the number of cells fusing into a myotube as a result of their alignment. Conversely, neuronal cells did not exhibit durotaxis and could be seen on soft regions of the hydrogel for prolonged culture time. These results suggest that mechanically-patterned hydrogels could provide a platform to create tissue engineered, innervated micro-muscles of neural and muscle phenotypes juxtaposed next to each other in order better recreate a muscle niche.

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