Bone Marrow Microenvironment Culturing System for Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Activities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in bone marrow are regulated by how they interact with their microenvironment. Therefore, it is essential to learn the interaction between MSCs and the microenvironment in order to properly control MSC behavior. However, it is challenging to study cell behavior directly within the bone marrow of a living animal. It would be beneficial to have an in vitro system that is capable of simulating selective properties of bone marrow for the purpose of studying MSCs in culture. Current approaches used to culture MSCs have a number of limitations that alter MSC physiology. One of the primary challenges is that the substrate used to culture MSCs does not provide appropriate stiffness to regulate cell behavior. In general, tissue culture plastics are much more rigid than bone marrow. Another challenge is that the oxygen tension in culture is too high for MSCs compared to that in bone marrow. The challenges inherent to current MSC culture approaches are the main causes of cellular senescence. The goal of this project is to create a microenvironment in culture that can be used to simulate a bone marrow microenvironment with controlled oxygen tension and matrix stiffness for culturing mesenchymal stem cells. It would be ideal to engineer a culture environment that enables researchers to study MSC behavior.
- Taylor Marohl - Team Leader
- Veronica Porubsky - Communicator & BPAG
- Michelle Tong - BSAC
- Madeline Meier - BWIG