Enhancement of the propagation of human embryonic stem cells by modifications in the gel architecture of PMEDSAH polymer coatings

Xu Qian, Luis G. Villa-Diaz, Ramya Kumar, Joerg Lahann, Paul H. Krebsbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Well-defined culture conditions are essential for realizing the full potential of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in regenerative medicine where large numbers of cells are required. Synthetic polymers such as poly[2-(methacryloyloxy) ethyl dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl) ammonium hydroxide] (PMEDSAH), offer multiple advantages over mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and Matrigel- for hESC culture and expansion. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms by which hESCs are propagated on synthetic polymers coatings. Here, the effects of PMEDSAH gel architecture on hESC self-renewal were determined. By increasing the atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) reaction time, the thickness of PMEDSAH was increased and its internal hydrogel architecture was modified, while maintaining its overall chemical structure. A 105nm thick ATRP PMEDSAH coating showed a significant increase in the expansion rate of hESCs. Theoretical calculations suggested that 20,000 hESCs cultured on this substrate could be expanded up to 4.7×109 undifferentiated cells in five weeks. In addition, hESCs grown on ATRP PMEDSAH coatings retained pluripotency and displayed a normal karyotype after long-term culture. These data demonstrate the importance of polymer physical properties in hESC expansion. This modification of PMEDSAH coatings may be used to obtain large populations of hESCs required for many applications in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9581-9590
Number of pages10
Issue number36
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cell culture
  • Human embryonic stem cells
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Self-renewal
  • Synthetic polymer coatings

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