Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells (hESC-CVPCs) hold great promise for cell-based therapies of heart diseases. However, little is known about their niche microenvironment and in particular the required extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Here we screened combinations of surface-immobilized ECM proteins to identify substrates that support the attachment and survival of hESC-CVPCs. Covalent immobilization of ECM proteins laminin (Lm), fibronectin (Fn), collagen I (CI), collagen III (CIII), and collagen IV (CIV) in multiple combinations and concentrations was achieved by reductive amination on transparent acetaldehyde plasma polymer (AAPP) interlayer coatings. We identified that CI, CIII, CIV, and Fn and their combinations were important for hESC-CVPC attachment and survival, while Lm was dispensable. Moreover, for coatings displaying single ECM proteins, CI and CIII performed better than CIV and Fn, while coatings displaying the combined ECM proteins CIII + CIV and Fn + CIII + CIV at 100 µg/mL were comparable to Matrigel in regard to supporting hESC-CVPC attachment and viability. Our results identify ECM proteins required for hESC-CVPCs and demonstrate that coatings displaying multiple immobilized ECM proteins offer a suitable microenvironment for the attachment and survival of hESC-CVPCs. This knowledge contributes to the development of approaches for maintaining hESC-CVPCs and therefore to advances in cardiovascular regeneration.
- biointerfacial interactions
- cardiovascular progenitor cells
- cell attachment and survival
- extracellular matrix components
- surface modification