Nanotopography Promotes Pancreatic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Jong Hyun Kim, Hyung Woo Kim, Kyoung Je Cha, Jiyou Han, Yu Jin Jang, Dong Sung Kim, Jong Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Although previous studies suggest that nanotopographical features influence properties and behaviors of stem cells, only a few studies have attempted to derive clinically useful somatic cells from human pluripotent stem cells using nanopatterned surfaces. In the present study, we report that polystyrene nanopore-patterned surfaces significantly promote the pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. We compared different diameters of nanopores and showed that 200 nm nanopore-patterned surfaces highly upregulated the expression of PDX1, a critical transcription factor for pancreatic development, leading to an approximately 3-fold increase in the percentage of differentiating PDX1+ pancreatic progenitors compared with control flat surfaces. Furthermore, in the presence of biochemical factors, 200 nm nanopore-patterned surfaces profoundly enhanced the derivation of pancreatic endocrine cells producing insulin, glucagon, or somatostatin. We also demonstrate that nanopore-patterned surface-induced upregulation of PDX1 is associated with downregulation of TAZ, suggesting the potential role of TAZ in nanopore-patterned surface-mediated mechanotransduction. Our study suggests that appropriate cytokine treatments combined with nanotopographical stimulation could be a powerful tool for deriving a high purity of desired cells from human pluripotent stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3342-3355
Number of pages14
JournalACS nano
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2014R1A2A1A01006527, 2011-0030075) and Industrial Core Technology Development Program, (Project No. 10041913) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MI, Republic of Korea). We appreciate the technical help of Dr. Jiwon Lim of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in POSTECH for measuring protein adsorption.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • human embryonic stem cells
  • induced pluripotent stem cells
  • nanoinjection molding
  • pancreatic differentiation
  • polystyrene nanopore surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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