Influence of biological matrix and artificial electrospun scaffolds on proliferation, differentiation and trophic factor synthesis of rat embryonic stem cells

Matrix Biol. 2014 Jan;33:68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2013.08.001. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Two-dimensional vs three-dimensional culture conditions, such as the presence of extracellular matrix components, could deeply influence the cell fate and properties. In this paper we investigated proliferation, differentiation, survival, apoptosis, growth and neurotrophic factor synthesis of rat embryonic stem cells (RESCs) cultured in 2D and 3D conditions generated using Cultrex® Basement Membrane Extract (BME) and in poly-(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) electrospun sub-micrometric fibres. It is demonstrated that, in the absence of other instructive stimuli, growth, differentiation and paracrine activity of RESCs are directly affected by the different microenvironment provided by the scaffold. In particular, RESCs grown on an electrospun PLLA scaffolds coated or not with BME have a higher proliferation rate, higher production of bioactive nerve growth factor (NGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) compared to standard 2D conditions, lasting for at least 2 weeks. Due to the high mechanical flexibility of PLLA electrospun scaffolds, the PLLA/stem cell culture system offers an interesting potential for implantable neural repair devices.

Keywords: Electrospinning; Embryonic stem cell; Extracellular matrix; Growth factors; Poly(lactic acid); Scaffold.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Lactic Acid / chemistry
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism
  • Paracrine Communication*
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Culture Media
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A, mouse
  • Lactic Acid
  • poly(lactide)
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3