Polymer-Coated Surface as an Enzyme-Free Culture Platform to Improve Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell (hMSC) Characteristics in Extended Passaging

Goro Choi, Younghak Cho, Seung Jung Yu, Jieung Baek, Minseok Lee, Yesol Kim, Eunjung Lee, Sung Gap Im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


For efficient therapeutic use of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), maximizing their self-renewal performance and multipotency must be fully retained. However, conventional trypsin-based cell passaging methods are known to damage the attached cells to be detached because of the inherent corrosive nature of trypsin, and continuous passaging substantially degrades the self-renewal and differentiation capacity of hMSCs. Therefore, it is imperative to secure a damage-free passaging method that supports cell growth as well as their stem cell function. Here, an enzyme-free cell detachment method using a poly(ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) (pEGDMA)-coated surface is developed, which allows for reduced integrin-dependent cell adhesion. Cell detachment can be facilitated simply by treating the plated cells on the pEGDMA surface with Ca2+ and Mg2+-depleted DPBS. Spontaneous cell detachment occurs within 10 min with the full retention of the cell viability and proliferation ability of hMSCs. Especially, the detachment method can minimize the surface protein damage of hMSCs compared to the conventional trypsin treatment and preserve the self-renewal property and differentiation capacity even with an increased passage number over 10. The developed enzyme-free detachment method using the pEGDMA-coated surface is highly promising for a culture platform to broaden its application to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7654-7665
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Wearable Platform Materials Technology Center (WMC) funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant of the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1A5A1009926) and by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (Nos. 2017R1A2B3007806 and 2020R1I1A1A0106662111).

Publisher Copyright:


  • differentiation
  • enzyme-free cell culture
  • human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs)
  • initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD)
  • long-term culture


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