Long-term human pluripotent stem cell self-renewal on synthetic polymer surfaces

Biomaterials. 2010 Dec;31(34):9135-44. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Realization of the full potential of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in regenerative medicine requires the development of well-defined culture conditions for their long-term growth and directed differentiation. Current practices for maintaining hPSCs generally utilize empirically determined combinations of feeder cells and other animal-based products, which are expensive, difficult to isolate, subject to batch-to-batch variations, and unsuitable for cell-based therapies. Using a high-throughput screening approach, we identified several polymers that can support self-renewal of hPSCs. While most of these polymers provide support for only a short period of time, we identified a synthetic polymer poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic anhydride) (PMVE-alt-MA) that supported the long-term attachment, proliferation and self-renewal of HUES1, HUES9, and iPSCs. The hPSCs cultured on PMVE-alt-MA maintained their characteristic morphology, expressed high levels of markers of pluripotency, and retained a normal karyotype. Such cost-effective, polymer-based matrices that support long-term self-renewal and proliferation of hPSCs will not only help to accelerate the translational perspectives of hPSCs, but also provide a platform to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Lineage / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Maleic Anhydrides / pharmacology
  • Methyl Ethers / pharmacology
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Polyvinyls / pharmacology
  • Surface Properties / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Maleic Anhydrides
  • Methyl Ethers
  • Polymers
  • Polyvinyls
  • poly(vinyl methyl ether)