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. 2019;2002:101-119.
doi: 10.1007/7651_2018_181.

Three-Dimensional Co-culture of Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells and Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells in a Biomimetic Hematopoietic Niche Microenvironment

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Three-Dimensional Co-culture of Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells and Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells in a Biomimetic Hematopoietic Niche Microenvironment

Marta H G Costa et al. Methods Mol Biol. .

Abstract

The development of cellular therapies to treat hematological malignancies has motivated researchers to investigate ex vivo culture systems capable of expanding the number of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) before transplantation. The strategies exploited to achieve relevant cell numbers have relied on culture systems that lack biomimetic niche cues thought to be essential to promote HSPC maintenance and proliferation. Although stromal cells adhered to 2-D surfaces can be used to support the expansion of HSPC ex vivo, culture systems aiming to incorporate cell-cell interactions in a more intricate 3-D environment can better contribute to recapitulate the bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic niche in vitro.Herein, we describe the development of a 3-D co-culture system of human umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived CD34+ cells and BM mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) spheroids in a microwell-based platform that allows to attain large numbers of spheroids with uniform sizes. Further comparison with a traditional 2-D co-culture system exploiting the supportive features of feeder layers of MSC is provided, while functional in vitro assays to assess the features of HSPC expanded in the 2-D vs. 3-D MSC co-culture systems are suggested.

Keywords: Co-culture; Hematopoietic niche; Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC); Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC); Microwells; Spheroids.

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