Effect of substrate stiffness on differentiation of umbilical cord stem cells

Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(2):261-4. Epub 2012 May 11.


Tissue formation and maintenance is regulated by various factors, including biological, physiological and physical signals transmitted between cells as well as originating from cell-substrate interactions. In our study, the osteogenic potential of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells isolated from umbilical cord Wharton's jelly (UC-MSCs) was investigated in relation to the substrate rigidity on polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAAM). Osteogenic differentiation of UC-MSCs was enhanced on stiff substrate compared to soft substrates, illustrating that the mechanical environment can play a role in differentiation of this type of cells. These results show that substrate stiffness can regulate UC-MSCs differentiation, and hence may have significant implications for design of biomaterials with appropriate mechanical properties for regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins / chemistry*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / metabolism
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Osteocalcin / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry
  • Wharton Jelly / cytology*


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • Hydrogels
  • RUNX2 protein, human
  • polyacrylamide gels
  • Osteocalcin
  • Collagen