Hydrogels with an embossed surface: An all-in-one platform for mass production and culture of human adipose-derived stem cell spheroids
Se-jeong Kim (a, b), Jaesung Park (a, b), Hayeon Byun (a, b), Young-Woo Park (a, b), Luke G. Major (c), Dong Yun Lee (a, b, d), Yu Suk Choi (c), Heungsoo Shin (a, b, d)
Stem cell spheroids have been studied extensively in organoid culture and therapeutic transplantation. Herein, hydrogels with an embossed surface (HES) were developed as an all-in-one platform that can enable the rapid formation and culture of a large quantity of size-controllable stem cell spheroids. The embossed structure on the hydrogel was adjustable according to the grit designation of the sandpaper. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) were rapidly assembled into spheroids on the hydrogel, with their size distribution precisely controlled from 95 ± 6 μm to 181 ± 15 μm depending on surface roughness. The hADSC spheroids prepared from the HES demonstrated expression of stemness markers and differentiation capacity. In addition, HES-based spheroids showed significantly greater VEGF secretion than spheroids grown on a commercially available low-attachment culture plate. Exploiting those advantages, the HES-based spheroids were used for 3D bioprinting, and the spheroids within the 3D-printed construct showed improved retention and VEGF secretion compared to the same 3D structure containing single cell suspension. Collectively, HES would offer a useful platform for mass fabrication and culture of stem cell spheroids with controlled sizes for a variety of biomedical applications.