Recombinant vitronectin-grafted hydrogels were developed by adjusting surface charge of the hydrogels with grafting of poly-l-lysine for optimal culture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) under xeno- and feeder-free culture conditions, with elasticity regulated by crosslinking time (10-30 kPa), in contrast to conventional recombinant vitronectin coating dishes, which have a fixed stiff surface (3 GPa). hESCs proliferated on the hydrogels for over 10 passages and differentiated into the cells derived from three germ layers indicating the maintenance of pluripotency. hESCs on the hydrogels differentiated into cardiomyocytes under xeno-free culture conditions with much higher efficiency (80% of cTnT+ cells) than those on conventional recombinant vitronectin or Matrigel-coating dishes just only after 12 days of induction. It is important to have an optimal design of cell culture biomaterials where biological cues (recombinant vitronectin) and physical cues (optimal elasticity) are combined for high differentiation of hESCs into specific cell lineages, such as cardiomyocytes, under xeno-free and feeder-free culture conditions.
Immediate control of uncontrolled bleeding and infection are essential for saving lives in both combat and civilian arenas. Inorganic well-ordered mesoporous silica and bioactive glasses have recently shown great promise for accelerating hemostasis and infection control. However, to date, there has been no comprehensive report assessing their specific mechanism of action in accelerating the hemostasis process and exerting an antibacterial effect. After providing a brief overview of the hemostasis process, this review presents a critical overview of the recently developed inorganic mesoporous silica and bioactive glass-based materials proposed for hemostatic clinical applications and specifically investigates their unique characteristics that render them applicable for hemostatic applications and preventing infections. This article also identifies promising new research directions that should be undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness of these materials for hemostatic applications.
Hydrogel particles that can be engineered to compartmentally culture cells in a three-dimensional (3D) and high-throughput manner have attracted increasing interest in the biomedical area. However, the ability to generate hydrogel particles with specially designed structures and their potential biomedical applications need to be further explored. This work introduces a method for fabricating hydrogel particles in an ellipsoidal cap-like shape (i.e., ellipsoidal cap-like hydrogel particles) by employing an open-pore anodic aluminum oxide membrane. Hydrogel particles of different sizes are fabricated. The ability to produce ellipsoidal cap-like magnetic hydrogel particles with controlled distribution of magnetic nanoparticles is demonstrated. Encapsulated cells show high viability, indicating the potential for using these hydrogel particles as structure- and remote-controllable building blocks for tissue engineering application. Moreover, the hydrogel particles are also used as sacrificial templates for fabricating ellipsoidal cap-like concave wells, which are further applied for producing size controllable cell aggregates. The results are beneficial for the development of hydrogel particles and their applications in 3D cell culture.
Current xeno-free and chemically defined methods for the differentiation of hPSCs (human pluripotent stem cells) into cardiomyocytes are not efficient and are sometimes not reproducible. Therefore, it is necessary to develop reliable and efficient methods for the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes for future use in cardiovascular research related to drug discovery, cardiotoxicity screening, and disease modeling. We evaluated two representative differentiation methods that were reported previously, and we further developed original, more efficient methods for the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes under xeno-free, chemically defined conditions. The developed protocol successively differentiated hPSCs into cardiomyocytes, approximately 90-97% of which expressed the cardiac marker cTnT, with beating speeds and sarcomere lengths that were similar to those of a healthy adult human heart. The optimal cell culture biomaterials for the cardiac differentiation of hPSCs were also evaluated using extracellular matrix-mimetic material-coated dishes. Synthemax II-coated and Laminin-521-coated dishes were found to be the most effective and efficient biomaterials for the cardiac differentiation of hPSCs according to the observation of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes with high survival ratios, high beating colony numbers, a similar beating frequency to that of a healthy adult human heart, high purity levels (high cTnT expression) and longer sarcomere lengths similar to those of a healthy adult human heart.