Current heterogeneous cell assembly techniques in coculture systems rely on irreversible cell layering or a cell separation membrane. However, the techniques possess major drawbacks of inefficiency in direct interactions of the assembled cell layers and cell separation following coculture, which hamper characterization and therapeutic applications of the cells following coculture. Here, we develop a reversible cell layering platform for assembly of heterogeneous cells that allows both active direct cell-cell interactions and facile cell separation. Anionic maleimide-chondroitin-sulfate is grafted onto the surface membrane of myogenic C2C12 cells and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to modify the surface charge of the cells without cytotoxicity. A highly porous chitosan thin film is formed in situ interspacing between the heterogeneous cell layers via ionic cross-linking of cationic chitosan and anionic functionalized cells, forming compactly assembled double-layered cell constructs. The chitosan film enables layering of the cells, which allows active direct interactions between the cell layers, and facile delayering of the cells through simple treatment with mild shear stress. The developed platform promotes the myogenic commitment of hMSCs via direct contact with C2C12 cells, mimicking the interactions that trigger stem cell differentiation in vivo. Delivery of the myogenic committed cells to muscle-injured animal models shows evident muscle regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Chemistry