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Novel PEG hydrogel as 3D synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) for organoid culture

A recent article published in the leading scientific journal of Nature (Designer matrices for intestinal stem cell and organoid culture, Matthias P. Lutolf et al from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, Nature, Published online 16 November 2016,  doi:10.1038/nature20168) reported the first intestinal and colorectal cancer organoid culture in fully defined extracellular matrix (ECM).

How Were PEG Hydrogels Used?

Enzymatically crosslinked PEG hydrogel was used to modulate the 3D synthetic networks to support organoid formation. Organoids formed by self-organizing stem cells resemble their native counterparts in cellular content, multicellular architecture and functional features.

This novel approach overcomes multiple limitations of current organoid cultures and greatly expands their applicability in basic and clinical research. The principles presented in this publication may be extended to identify designer matrices that are optimal for long-term culture of other types of stem cells and organoids. The authors stated that one of the aims is to mimic the basic physical properties of Matrigel without contributing any biochemical signals.

Creative PEGWorks congratulates this significant advancement in PEG hydrogel and their use in regenerative medicine. We are proud that our multi-arm PEG reagents (e.g. 8-Arm PEG-Acrylate) are used in this great work.