Effects of biologic scaffolds on human stem cells and implications for CNS tissue engineering

Peter M. Crapo, Stephen Tottey, Peter F. Slivka, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Biologic scaffolds composed of mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) promote constructive remodeling of tissues via mechanisms that include the recruitment of endogenous stem/progenitor cells, modulation of the host innate immune response, and influence of cell fate differentiation. Such scaffold materials are typically prepared by decellularization of source tissues and are prepared as sheets, powder, or hydrogels. It is plausible that ECM derived from an anatomically distinct tissue would have unique or specific effects on cells that naturally reside in this same tissue. The present study investigated the in vitro effect of a soluble form of ECM derived from central nervous system (CNS) tissue, specifically the spinal cord or brain, versus ECM derived from a non-CNS tissue; specifically, the urinary bladder on the behavior of neural stem cells (NSCs) and perivascular stem cells. All forms of ECM induce positive, mitogenic, and chemotactic effects at concentrations of approximately 100 μg/mL without affecting stem cell viability. CNS-derived ECMs also showed the ability to differentiate NSCs into neurons as indicted by βIII-tubulin expression in two-dimensional culture and neurite extension on the millimeter scale after 24 days of three-dimensional cultures in an ECM hydrogel. These results suggest that solubilized forms of ECM scaffold materials may facilitate the postinjury healing response in CNS tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A.
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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