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Published Online: 1 October 2017

PCL-PDMS-PCL Copolymer-Based Microspheres Mediate Cardiovascular Differentiation from Embryonic Stem Cells

Publication: Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23, Issue Number 10


Poly-ɛ-caprolactone (PCL) based microspheres have received much attention as drug or growth factor delivery carriers and tissue engineering scaffolds due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and tunable biophysical properties. In addition, PCL and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) can be fabricated into thermoresponsive shape memory polymers for various biomedical applications (e.g., smart sutures and vascular stents). However, the influence of biophysical properties of PCL-PDMS based microspheres on stem cell lineage commitment has not been well understood. In this study, PDMS was used as soft segments of varying length to tailor the elastic modulus of PCL-based copolymers. It was found that lower elastic modulus (<10 kPa) of the tri-block copolymer PCL-PDMS-PCL promoted vascular differentiation of embryonic stem cells, but the range of 60–100 MPa PCL-PDMS-PCL had little influence on cardiovascular differentiation. Then different sizes (30–140 μm) of PCL-PDMS-PCL microspheres were fabricated and incorporated with embryoid bodies (EBs). Differential expression of KDR, CD31, and VE-cadherin was observed for the EBs containing microspheres of different sizes. Higher expression of KDR was observed for the condition with small size of microspheres (32 μm), while higher CD31 and VE-cadherin expression was observed for the group of medium size of microspheres (94 μm). Little difference in cardiac marker α-actinin was observed for different microspheres. This study indicates that the biophysical properties of PCL-PDMS-PCL microspheres impact vascular lineage commitment and have implications for drug delivery and tissue engineering.

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Published In

cover image Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23Issue Number 10October 2017
Pages: 627 - 640
PubMed: 28826352


Published in print: October 2017
Published online: 1 October 2017
Published ahead of print: 28 September 2017
Published ahead of production: 21 August 2017
Accepted: 21 August 2017
Received: 26 June 2017


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Liqing Song
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Mohammad Faisel Ahmed
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Yan Li
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI), Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Julie Bejoy
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Changchun Zeng
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI), Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Yan Li
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.


The preliminary results of this study were presented in 2015 Annual Meeting of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Salt Lake City, Utah, November 8–13, 2015.
Address correspondence to:Yan Li, PhDDepartment of Chemical and Biomedical EngineeringFAMU-FSU College of EngineeringFlorida State University2525 Pottsdamer Street, A131Tallahassee, FL 32310E-mail: [email protected]

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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