EventsElif Arslan

Glycosaminoglycan-Mimetic Signals Direct the Osteo/Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a 3D Peptide Nanofiber Environment

Recent efforts in bioactive scaffold development focus strongly on the elucidation of complex cellular responses through the use of synthetic systems. Designing synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) materials must be based on understanding of cellular behaviors upon interaction with natural and artificial scaffolds. Hence, due to their ability to mimic both the biochemical and mechanical properties of the native tissue environment, supramolecular assemblies of bioactive peptide nanostructures are especially promising for development of bioactive ECM-mimetic scaffolds. In this study, we used glycosaminoglycan (GAG) mimetic peptide nanofiber gel as a three-dimensional (3D) platform to investigate how cell lineage commitment is altered by external factors. We observed that amount of fetal bovine serum (FBS) presented in the cell media had synergistic effects on the ability of GAG-mimetic nanofiber gel to mediate the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteogenic and chondrogenic lineages. In particular, lower FBS concentration in the culture medium was observed to enhance osteogenic differentiation while higher amount FBS promotes chondrogenic differentiation in tandem with the effects of the GAG-mimetic 3D peptide nanofiber network, even in the absence of externally administered growth factors. We therefore demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cell differentiation can be specifically controlled by the combined influence of growth medium components and a 3D peptide nanofiber environment.

About The Speaker

Elif Arslan recieved her B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. She is currently a doctoral candidate under supervision of Prof. Ayşe B. Tekinay in the UNAM, Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology at Bilkent University. She was awarded the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Bachelor and  Doctorate Fellowships. Her doctoral study focuses on stem cell differentiation by using 2D and 3D peptide nanofibers mimicking natural extracellular matrix of tissues. Specifically, she studied on design and development of peptide scaffolds for  cartilage tissue regeneration.