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Scientific Reports




The clinical translation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is limited by population heterogeneity and inconsistent responses to engineered signals. Specifically, the extent in which MSCs respond to mechanical cues varies significantly across MSC lines. Although induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have recently emerged as a novel cell source for creating highly homogeneous MSC (iMSC) lines, cellular mechanosensing of iMSCs on engineered materials with defined mechanics is not well understood. Here, we tested the mechanosensing properties of three human iMSC lines derived from iPSCs generated using a fully automated platform. Stiffness-driven changes in morphology were comparable between MSCs and iMSCs cultured atop hydrogels of different stiffness. However, contrary to tissue derived MSCs, no significant changes in iMSC morphology were observed between iMSC lines atop different stiffness hydrogels, demonstrating a consistent response to mechanical signals. Further, stiffness-driven changes in mechanosensitive biomarkers were more pronounced in iMSCs than MSCs, which shows that iMSCs are more adaptive and responsive to mechanical cues than MSCs. This study reports that iMSCs are a promising stem cell source for basic and applied research due to their homogeneity and high sensitivity to engineered mechanical signals.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.