Functionalized 3D scaffolds for engineering the hematopoietic niche

Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2022 Aug 17;10:968086. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.968086. eCollection 2022.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in a subzone of the bone marrow (BM) defined as the hematopoietic niche where, via the interplay of differentiation and self-renewal, they can give rise to immune and blood cells. Artificial hematopoietic niches were firstly developed in 2D in vitro cultures but the limited expansion potential and stemness maintenance induced the optimization of these systems to avoid the total loss of the natural tissue complexity. The next steps were adopted by engineering different materials such as hydrogels, fibrous structures with natural or synthetic polymers, ceramics, etc. to produce a 3D substrate better resembling that of BM. Cytokines, soluble factors, adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix (ECM) components, and the secretome of other niche-resident cells play a fundamental role in controlling and regulating HSC commitment. To provide biochemical cues, co-cultures, and feeder-layers, as well as natural or synthetic molecules were utilized. This review gathers key elements employed for the functionalization of a 3D scaffold that demonstrated to promote HSC growth and differentiation ranging from 1) biophysical cues, i.e., material, topography, stiffness, oxygen tension, and fluid shear stress to 2) biochemical hints favored by the presence of ECM elements, feeder cell layers, and redox scavengers. Particular focus is given to the 3D systems to recreate megakaryocyte products, to be applied for blood cell production, whereas HSC clinical application in such 3D constructs was limited so far to BM diseases testing.

PMID:36061428 | PMC:PMC9428512 | DOI:10.3389/fbioe.2022.968086


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