Stem Cell Microarrays for Assessing Growth Factor Signaling in Engineered Glycan Microenvironments.

Advanced Healthcare Materials
A. L. MichalakKamil Godula


Extracellular glycans, such as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), provide an essential regulatory component during the development and maintenance of tissues. GAGs, which harbor binding sites for a range of growth factors (GFs) and other morphogens, help establish gradients of these molecules in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and promote the formation of active signaling complexes when presented at the cell surface. As such, GAGs have been pursued as biologically active components for the development of biomaterials for cell-based regenerative therapies. However, their structural complexity and compositional heterogeneity make establishing structure-function relationships for this class of glycans difficult. Here, a stem cell array platform is described, in which chemically modified heparan sulfate (HS) GAG polysaccharides are conjugated to a gelatin matrix and introduced into a polyacrylamide hydrogel network. This array allowed for direct analysis of HS contributions to the signaling via the FGF2-dependent mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in mouse embryonic stem cells. With the recent emergence of powerful synthetic and recombinant technologies to produce well-defined GAG structures, a platform for analyzing both growt...Continue Reading


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