The promotion of stemness and pluripotency following feeder-free culture of embryonic stem cells on collagen-grafted 3-dimensional nanofibrous scaffold

Biomaterials. 2011 Oct;32(30):7363-74. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.06.048. Epub 2011 Jul 16.


The components of extracellular matrix (ECM) may substitute for feeder layers that promote the self-renewal pathways in embryonic stem cells. Surface modification of electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds have been studied to closely resemble natural ECMs and support in vitro and in vivo proliferation, pluripotency and differentiation of stem cells. In this study, we analyzed the maintenance of stemness and pluripotency of the mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) following feeder-free culture on collagen-grafted polyethersulfone (PES-COL) electrospun nanofibrous scaffold. Our results showed that, the mESCs cultured for seven passages on PES-COL scaffolds had a typical undifferentiated morphology, enhanced proliferation, stable diploid normal karyotype, and continued expression of stemness and pluripotency-associated markers, Oct-4, Nanog, SSEA-1, and Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in comparison with PES scaffolds and gelatin-coated plate. Moreover, these cells retained their in vitro and in vivo pluripotency. Our results indicated the enhanced infiltration and teratoma formation of mESCs in PES-COL. Collagen-grafted polyethersulfone nanofibrous scaffold has potential for feeder-free culture of pluripotent stem cells because of its 3-dimensional structure and bioactivity which enhance pluripotency, proliferation, differentiation, and infiltration of embryonic stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Lewis X Antigen / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Nanofibers / ultrastructure
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Polymers / metabolism
  • Sulfones / chemistry*
  • Sulfones / metabolism
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Lewis X Antigen
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Polymers
  • Sulfones
  • polyether sulfone
  • Collagen
  • Alkaline Phosphatase