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  • Engineering a Three Dimensional Stem Cell Niche in the Inner Ear by Applying a Nanofibrillar Cellulose Hydrogel with a Sustained Release Neurotrophic Factor Delivery System

Engineering a Three Dimensional Stem Cell Niche in the Inner Ear by Applying a Nanofibrillar Cellulose Hydrogel with a Sustained Release Neurotrophic Factor Delivery System

Hsiang Tsun Chang, Rachel A. Heuer , Andrew M. Oleksijew, Kyle S. Coots, Christian B. Roque, Kevin T. Nella, Tammy L. McGuire and Akihiro J. Matsuoka

Background

The application of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in stem cell replacement therapies in the inner ear is hindered by low cell survival post-transplant. Here, we aim to enhance the in vitro and in vivo survival rate and neuronal differentiation of otic neuronal progenitors (ONPs) by generating an artificial stem cell niche consisting of three dimensional (3D) hESC derived ONP spheroids, a nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogel, and a sustained release brain derivative neurotrophic factor (BDNF) delivery system.