Elastin-Collagen Based Hydrogels as Model Scaffolds to Induce Three-Dimensional Adipocyte Culture from Adipose Derived Stem Cells
This study aimed to probe the effect of formulation of scaffolds prepared using collagen and elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) and their resulting physico-chemical and mechanical properties on the adipogenic differentiation of human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs). Six different ELP-collagen scaffolds were prepared by varying the collagen concentration (2 and 6 mg/mL), ELP addition (6 mg/mL), or crosslinking of the scaffolds. FTIR spectroscopy indicated secondary bonding interactions between
... lagen and ELP, while scanning electron microscopy revealed a porous structure for all scaffolds. Increased collagen concentration, ELP addition, and presence of crosslinking decreased swelling ratio and increased elastic modulus and compressive strength of the scaffolds. The scaffold characteristics influenced cell morphology, wherein the hASCs seeded in the softer, non-crosslinked scaffolds displayed a spread morphology. We determined that stiffer and/or crosslinked elastin-collagen based scaffolds constricted the spreading of hASCs, leading to a spheroid morphology and yielded an enhanced adipogenic differentiation as indicated by Oil Red O staining. Overall, this study underscored the importance of spheroid morphology in adipogenic differentiation, which will allow researchers to create more physiologically-relevant three-dimensional, in vitro culture models.