Heparin-mediated electrostatic immobilization of bFGFviafunctional polymer films for enhanced self-renewal of human neural stem cells

Younghak Cho, Jieung Baek, Eunjung Lee, Sung Gap Im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Preserving the self-renewal capability of undifferentiated human neural stem cells (hNSCs) is one of the crucial prerequisites for efficient hNSC-based regenerative medicine. Considering that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is one of the key contributing factors in maintaining the self-renewal property of hNSCs, the bioactivity and stability of bFGF in the hNSC culture should be regulated carefully. In this study, we developed a functional polymer film of poly(glycidyl methacrylate (GMA)-co-N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA)) (coGD, or p(GMA-co-DMAEMA))viainitiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD), which facilitated a stable, electrostatic adsorption of heparin and subsequent immobilization of bFGF. The bFGF-immobilized coGD surface substantially enhanced the proliferation rate and neurosphere forming ability of hNSCs compared to tissue culture plate (TCP). The expression of the stemness markers of hNSCs such asNESTINandSOX-2was also upregulated prominently on the coGD surface. Also, the hNSCs cultured on the coGD surface showed enhanced neurogenesis upon spontaneous differentiation. The immobilized bFGF on the coGD surface stimulated the expression of bFGF receptors and subsequently activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, attributed to the increase in self-renewal property of hNSCs. Our results indicate that the coGD surface allowedin situheparin-mediated bFGF immobilization, which served as a robust platform to generate hNSC neurospheres with enhanced self-renewal and differentiation capabilities and thereby will prompt an advance in the field of therapeutics of neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2091
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MEST; Grant No. 2017R1A2B3007806), the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Grant No. 2020R1I1A1A0106662111) and by a grant from the Technology Innovation Program (Grant No. 20008777) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.


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