Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and haematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) grow in a specified niche in close association with the microenvironment, the so‐called ‘haematopoietic niche’. Scaffolds have been introduced to overcome the liquid culture limitations, mimicking the presence of the extracellular matrix (ECM). In the present study the hyaluronic acid scaffold, already developed in the laboratory, has been used for the first time to maintain long‐term cultures of CD34+ haematopoietic cells obtained from human cord blood. One parameter investigated was the impact on ex vivo survival of CD34+ cord blood cells (CBCs) on the hyaluronic acid surface, immobilized with peptides containing the RGD motif. This peptide was conjugated by coating the hyaluronan hydrogel and cultured in serum‐free liquid phase complemented with stem cell factor (SCF), a commonly indispensable cytokine for haematopoiesis. Our work demonstrated that these hyaluronan hydrogels were superior to traditional liquid cultures by maintaining and expanding the HPCs without the need for additional cytokines, and a colonization of 280‐fold increment in the hydrogel compared with liquid culture after 28 days of ex vivo expansion.

Source : Survival of cord blood haematopoietic stem cells in a hyaluronan hydrogel for ex vivo biomimicry


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