Nanothin Coculture Membranes with Tunable Pore Architecture and Thermoresponsive Functionality for Transfer-Printable Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Sheets

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Coculturing stem cells with the desired cell type is an effective method to promote the differentiation of stem cells. The features of the membrane used for coculturing are crucial to achieving the best outcome. Not only should the membrane act as a physical barrier that prevents the mixing of the cocultured cell populations, but it should also allow effective interactions between the cells. Unfortunately, conventional membranes used for coculture do not sufficiently meet these requirements. In addition, cell harvesting using proteolytic enzymes following coculture impairs cell viability and the extracellular matrix (ECM) produced by the cultured cells. To overcome these limitations, we developed nanothin and highly porous (NTHP) membranes, which are 20-fold thinner and 25-fold more porous than the conventional coculture membranes. The tunable pore size of NTHP membranes at the nanoscale level was found crucial for the formation of direct gap junctions-mediated contacts between the cocultured cells. Differentiation of the cocultured stem cells was dramatically enhanced with the pore size-customized NTHP membrane system compared to conventional coculture methods. This was likely due to effective physical contacts between the cocultured cells and the fast diffusion of bioactive molecules across the membrane. Also, the thermoresponsive functionality of the NTHP membranes enabled the efficient generation of homogeneous, ECM-preserved, highly viable, and transferprintable sheets of cardiomyogenically differentiated cells. The coculture platform developed in this study would be effective for producing various types of therapeutic multilayered cell sheets that can be differentiated from stem cells.
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ACS NANO, v.9, no.10, pp.10186 - 10202

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CBE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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