Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Nanoscale Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Yubing Xie


Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) offer the unique capacity to differentiate into almost any cell type and have sweeping implications in both basic research and clinical applications. However, unregulated differentiation can cause issues, preventing ESCs from entering clinical research. In order to maximize ESC growth, three dimensional culturing has been utilized in order to have results more similar to in vivo conditions. In the case of alginate scaffolds, cell adhesion sites are missing from the matrix, leading to differentiation. We propose that the inclusion of adhesive polymer to the alginate scaffold will increase cell attachment and maintain pluripotency. The polymer N[3-Dimehylamino propyl methacrylamide] DMAPMA has been shown, in a screening of 66 monomers, to increase cell adhesion and proliferation. By adding a methacrylic acid (MAA) group to the polymer, it readily dissolves in alginate and can form microstrands (200 μm) for 3D adhesive mouse ESC cell culture. This study compared four growth conditions: alginate solid core, alginate liquefied core, DMAPMA-MAA modified alginate solid core and modified liquefied core, in terms of ESC growth and gene expression of pluripotent markers by qPCR analysis. It was found that the DMAPMA-MAA-modified liquefied alginate microstrands support the best organized, high density ESC growth while maintaining the best pluripotent marker Oct4 expression.