Keya Ganguly 1, Sayan Deb Dutta 1, Aayushi Randhawa 1,2, Dinesh K Patel 3, Tejal V Patil 1,2, Ki-Taek Lim 1,2,3,4
1Department of Biosystems Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
2Interdisciplinary Program in Smart Agriculture, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
3Institute of Forest Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
4Biomechagen Co., Ltd., Chuncheon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR : Ki-Taek Lim
Biomimetic soft hydrogels used in bone tissue engineering frequently produce unsatisfactory outcomes. Here, it is investigated how human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) differentiated into early osteoblasts on remarkably soft 3D hydrogel (70 ± 0.00049 Pa). Specifically, hBMSCs seeded onto cellulose nanocrystals incorporated methacrylate gelatin hydrogels are subjected to pulsatile pressure stimulation (PPS) of 5-20 kPa for 7 days. The PPS stimulates cellular processes such as mechanotransduction, cytoskeletal distribution, prohibition of oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis, osteogenic marker gene expression, and osteo-specific cytokine secretions in hBMSCs on soft substrates. The involvement of Piezo 1 is the main ion channel involved in mechanotransduction. Additionally, RNA-sequencing results reveal differential gene expression concerning osteogenic differentiation, bone mineralization, ion channel activity, and focal adhesion. These findings suggest a practical and highly scalable method for promoting stem cell commitment to osteogenesis on soft matrices for clinical reconstruction.