The development of a sliding hydrogel with mobile crosslinks and biochemical ligands as a 3D stem cell niche is reported. The molecular mobility of this sliding hydrogel allows stem cells to reorganize the surrounding ligands and change their morphology in 3D. Without changing matrix stiffness, sliding hydrogels support efficient stem cell differentiation toward multiple lineages including adipogenesis, chondrogenesis, and osteogenesis.
Keywords: cell niches; cyclodextrins; sliding hydrogels.
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