Collagen vitrigels with low-fibril density enhance human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cell maturation

Xiaokun Wang, Julien Maruotti, Shoumyo Majumdar, Jose Roman, Hai Quan Mao, Donald J Zack, Jennifer Hartt Elisseeff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Structural and biochemical cues of extracellular matrix can substantially influence the differentiation and maturation of cultured retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. In this study, thin collagen vitrigels were engineered to create collagen nanofibrillar structures of different fibril densities in an effort to evaluate the maturation of human embryonic stem cell–derived retinal pigment epithelial (hESC-RPE) cells. The ultrastructure of the different collagen vitrigels was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, and the mechanical properties were evaluated by tensile testing. The pigmentation and polarization of cells, in addition to key RPE marker gene and protein expression levels, were analyzed to determine the differentiation of hESCs on the gels. The hESC-RPE differentiation was most significant in collagen vitrigels with low fibril density with mature collagen fibrils with diameter of around 60 nm and Young's modulus of 2.41 ± 0.13 MPa. This study provides insight into the influence of collagen nanofibrillar structures on hESC-RPE maturation and presents a potential bioengineered substratum for hESC-RPE for future preclinical and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-829
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Keywords

  • cell maturation
  • collagen vitrigel
  • epithelial cells
  • fibril density
  • retina
  • stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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