The importance of three-dimensional scaffold structure on stemness maintenance of mouse embryonic stem cells

Biomaterials. 2014 Sep;35(27):7724-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.05.060. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Revealing the mechanisms of cell fate regulation is important for scientific research and stem cell-based therapy. The traditional two-dimensional (2D) cultured mES cells are in a very different 2D niche from the in vivo equivalent-inner cell mass (ICM). Because the cell fate decision could be regulated by many cues which could be impacted by geometry, the traditional 2D culture system would hamper us from understanding the in vivo situations correctly. Three-dimensional (3D) scaffold was believed to provide a 3D environment closed to the in vivo one. In this work, three different scaffolds were prepared for cell culture. Several characters of mES cells were changed under 3D scaffolds culture compared to 2D, and these changes were mainly due to the alteration in geometry but not the matrix. The self-renewal of mES cells was promoted by the introducing of dimensionality. The stemness maintenance of mES was supported by all three 3D scaffolds without feeder cells in the long-time culture. Our findings demonstrated that the stemness maintenance of mES cells was promoted by the 3D geometry of scaffolds and this would provide a promising platform for ES cell research.

Keywords: Geometry; Stemness; Three-dimensional scaffold; mES cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Karyotyping
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers