We describe a 3D erythroid culture system that utilises a porous polyurethane (PU) scaffold to mimic the compartmentalisation found in the bone marrow. PU scaffolds seeded with peripheral blood CD34+ cells exhibit a remarkable reproducibility of egress, with an increased output when directly compared to human bone scaffolds over 28 days. Immunofluorescence demonstrated the persistence of CD34+ cells within the scaffolds for the entirety of the culture. To characterise scaffold outputs, we designed a flow cytometry panel that utilises surface marker expression observed in standard 2D erythroid and megakaryocyte cultures. This showed that the egress population is comprised of haematopoietic progenitor cells (CD36+)GPA-/low). Control cultures conducted in parallel but in the absence of a scaffold were also generally maintained for the longevity of the culture albeit with a higher level of cell death. The harvested scaffold egress can also be expanded and differentiated to the reticulocyte stage. In summary, PU scaffolds can behave as a subtractive compartmentalised culture system retaining and allowing maintenance of the seeded "CD34+ cell" population despite this population decreasing in amount as the culture progresses, whilst also facilitating egress of increasingly differentiated cells.
- Haematopoietic stem cells
- Stem-cell differentiation