Environmental Biomechanics Substantiated by Defined Pillar Micropatterns Govern Behavior of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Abstract:While evidence on the impact of the biomechanical environment elasticity on human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) behavior is growing, the aspect of micropatterning is still poorly understood. Thus, the present study aimed at investigating the influence of defined environmental micropatterning on hMSC behavior. Following characterization, hMSCs were grown on defined pillar micropatterns of 5, 7, 9, and 11 µm. With respect to cell behavior, primary hMSC adhesion was detected by indirect immunofluorescence (iIF) for paxillin, vinculin, integrin αV, and actin, while proliferation was visualized by histone H3. Morphogenesis was monitored by scanning electron microscopy and the expression of stem cell-specific biomarkers by real-time PCR. Favoritism of primary adhesion of hMSCs on pillar tops occurred at smaller pillar micropatterns, concomitant with cell flattening. While vinculin, integrin αV, and paxillin appeared initially more cytoplasmic, high pillar micropatterns favored a progressive redistribution with polarization to cell tension sites and at cell borders. Accomplishment of morphogenesis at day 3 revealed establishment of fully rotund cell somata at 5 µm, while hMSCs appeared progressively elongated at rising micropatterns. The hMSC proliferation capacity was influenced by pillar micropatterns and gene expression analysis of stem cell- and differentiation-associated biomarkers disclosed clear modulation by distinct pillar micropatterns. In response to environmental biomechanics, our results show that hMSC behavior is governed by pillar micropatterning. In turn, these findings may form the basis to prospectively direct lineage specificity of hMSCs in a customized fashion.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2012
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