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Aligned Poly(ε-caprolactone) Nanofibers Guide the Orientation and Migration of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons, Astrocytes, and Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells In Vitro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number1600517
Issue number7
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Stem cell transplantations for spinal cord injury (SCI) have been studied extensively for the past decade in order to replace the damaged tissue with human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural cells. Transplanted cells may, however, benefit from supporting and guiding structures or scaffolds in order to remain viable and integrate into the host tissue. Biomaterials can be used as supporting scaffolds, as they mimic the characteristics of the natural cellular environment. In this study, hPSC-derived neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are cultured on aligned poly(ε-caprolactone) nanofiber platforms, which guide cell orientation to resemble that of spinal cord in vivo. All cell types are shown to efficiently spread over the nanofiber platform and orient according to the fiber alignment. Human neurons and astrocytes require extracellular matrix molecule coating for the nanofibers, but OPCs grow on nanofibers without additional treatment. Furthermore, the nanofiber platform is combined with a 3D hydrogel scaffold with controlled thickness, and nanofiber-mediated orientation of hPSC-derived neurons is also demonstrated in a 3D environment. In this work, clinically relevant materials and substrates for nanofibers, fiber coatings, and hydrogel scaffolds are used and combined with cells suitable for developing functional cell grafts for SCI repair.


  • 3D environment, Differentiated neural cell, Human pluripotent stem cell, Nanofiber, Orientation

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland