U.S. Department of Commerce


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Tutak W, Jyotsnendu G, Bajcsy P, Simon CG. 2017. Nanofiber scaffolds influence organelle structure and function in bone marrow stromal cells. J Biomed Mater Res Part B 2017:105B:989–1001.


U.S. government work.


Recent work demonstrates that osteoprogenitor cell culture on nanofiber scaffolds can promote differentiation. This response may be driven by changes in cell morphology caused by the three-dimensional (3D) structure of nanofibers. We hypothesized that nanofiber effects on cell behavior may be mediated by changes in organelle structure and function. To test this hypothesis, human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) were cultured on poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibers scaffolds and on PCL flat spuncoat films. After 1 day-culture, hBMSCs were stained for actin, nucleus, mitochondria, and peroxisomes, and then imaged using 3D confocal microscopy. Imaging revealed that the hBMSC cell body (actin) and peroxisomal volume were reduced during culture on nanofibers. In addition, the nucleus and peroxisomes occupied a larger fraction of cell volume during culture on nanofibers than on films, suggesting enhancement of the nuclear and peroxisomal functional capacity. Organelles adopted morphologies with greater 3D-character on nanofibers, where the Z-Depth (a measure of cell thickness) was increased. Comparisons of organelle positions indicated that the nucleus, mitochondria, and peroxisomes were closer to the cell center (actin) for nanofibers, suggesting that nanofiber culture induced active organelle positioning. The smaller cell volume and more centralized organelle positioning would reduce the energy cost of inter-organelle vesicular transport during culture on nanofibers. Finally, hBMSC bioassay measurements (DNA, peroxidase, bioreductive potential, lactate, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)) indicated that peroxidase activity may be enhanced during nanofiber culture. These results demonstrate that culture of hBMSCs on nanofibers caused changes in organelle structure and positioning, which may affect organelle functional capacity and transport.