The tentative clinical application of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), such as human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, is restricted by the possibility of xenogenic contamination resulting from the use of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) as a feeder layer. Therefore, we investigated hPSC cultures on biomaterials with different elasticities that were grafted with different nanosegments. We prepared dishes coated with polyvinylalcohol-co-itaconic acid hydrogels grafted with an oligopeptide derived from vitronectin (KGGPQVTRGDVFTMP) with elasticities ranging from 10.3 to 30.4 kPa storage moduli by controlling the crosslinking time. The hPSCs cultured on the stiffest substrates (30.4 kPa) tended to differentiate after five days of culture, whereas the hPSCs cultured on the optimal elastic substrates (25 kPa) maintained their pluripotency for over 20 passages under xeno-free conditions. These results indicate that cell culture matrices with optimal elasticity can maintain the pluripotency of hPSCs in culture.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.