The Effects of Topographical Patterns and Sizes on Neural Stem Cell Behavior

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Engineered topographical manipulation, a paralleling approach with conventional biochemical cues, has recently attracted the growing interests in utilizations to control stem cell fate. In this study, effects of topological parameters, pattern and size are emphasized on the proliferation and differentiation of adult neural stem cells (ANSCs). We fabricate micro-scale topographical Si wafers with two different feature sizes. These topographical patterns present linear micro-pattern (LMP), circular micro-pattern (CMP) and dot micro-pattern (DMP). The results show that the three topography substrates are suitable for ANSC growth, while they all depress ANSC proliferation when compared to non-patterned substrates (control). Meanwhile, LMP and CMP with two feature sizes can both significantly enhance ANSC differentiation to neurons compared to control. The smaller the feature size is, the better upregulation applies to ANSC for the differentiated neurons. The underlying mechanisms of topography-enhanced neuronal differentiation are further revealed by directing suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signaling-regulated kinase (MAPK/Erk) signaling pathway in ANSC using U0126, known to inhibit the activation of Erk. The statistical results suggest MAPK/Erk pathway is partially involved in topography-induced differentiation. These observations provide a better understanding on the different roles of topographical cues on stem cell behavior, especially on the selective differentiation, and facilitate to advance the field of stem cell therapy. © 2013 Qi et al.




Qi, L., Li, N., Huang, R., Song, Q., Wang, L., Zhang, Q., … Cheng, G. (2013). The Effects of Topographical Patterns and Sizes on Neural Stem Cell Behavior. PLoS ONE, 8(3).

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