GRGD-decorated three-dimensional nanoworm hydrogels for culturing human embryonic stem cells

Stefanie Kessel, Nilay Thakar, Zhongfan Jia, Ernst J. Wolvetang, Michael J. Monteiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) offer great hope in the development of regenerative medicine. This article demonstrates a method to prepare temperature induced three-dimensional (3D) hydrogels consisting of soft and flexible polymer nanoworms with a radius of 10 nm and lengths on the micrometer scale. We decorated the surface of the nanoworms with the integrin-binding peptide (RGD) using our novel physical adsorption process, and show that the resulting gels are able to immobilize and maintain the survival of hESCs. We conclude that the unique PNIPAM nanoworm hydrogels allow binding of undifferentiated hESC through small integrin-binding peptides. Their temperature sensitivity, biocompatibility, ability to present combinations of multiple ligands and moldability into any desired 3D shape should make this nanoworm system a versatile platform for organoid engineering and regenerative medicine in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1956-1963
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number18
Early online date20 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • block copolymers
  • cell culturing
  • emulsion polymerization
  • nanoworms
  • reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)
  • stem cells
  • TDMT


Dive into the research topics of 'GRGD-decorated three-dimensional nanoworm hydrogels for culturing human embryonic stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this