Chitosan-coated amyloid fibrils increase adipogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells

Jay Gilbert, Nicholas P Reynolds, Sarah M. Russell, David Haylock, Sally McArthur, Mirren Charnley, Owen G. Jones

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the potential to revolutionize medicine due to their ability to differentiate into specific lineages for targeted tissue repair. Development of materials and cell culture platforms that improve differentiation of either autologous or allogenic stem cell sources into specific lineages would enhance clinical utilization of MCSs. In this study, nanoscale amyloid fibrils were evaluated as substrate materials to encourage viability, proliferation, multipotency, and differentiation of MSCs. Fibrils assembled from the proteins lysozyme or β-lactoglobulin, with and without chitosan coatings, were deposited on planar mica surfaces. MSCs were cultured and differentiated on fibril-covered surfaces, as well as on unstructured controls and tissue culture plastic. Expression of CD44 and CD90 proteins indicated that multipotency was maintained for all fibrils, and osteogenic differentiation was similarly comparable among all tested materials. MSCs grown for 7 days on fibril-covered surfaces favored multicellular spheroid formation and demonstrated a > 75% increase in adipogenesis compared to tissue culture plastic controls, although this benefit could only be achieved if MSCs were transferred to TCP for the final differentiation step. The largest spheroids and greatest tendency to undergo adipogenesis was evidenced among MSCs grown on fibrils coated with the positively-charged polysaccharide chitosan, suggesting that spheroid formation is prompted by both topography and cell-surface interactivity and that there is a connection between multicellular spheroid formation and adipogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipogenesis
  • Amyloid fibril
  • Chitosan
  • Differentiation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Osteogenesis

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