Matrix decoded - A pancreatic extracellular matrix with organ specific cues guiding human iPSC differentiation
The extracellular matrix represents a dynamic microenvironment regulating essential cell functions in vivo. Tissue engineering approaches aim to recreate the native niche in vitro using biological scaffolds generated by organ decellularization. So far, the organ specific origin of such scaffolds was less considered and potential consequences for in vitro cell culture remain largely elusive. Here, we show that organ specific cues of biological scaffolds affect cellular behavior. In detail, we report on the generation of a well-preserved pancreatic bioscaffold and introduce a scoring system allowing standardized inter-study quality assessment. Using multiple analysis tools for in-depth-characterization of the biological scaffold, we reveal unique compositional, physicostructural, and biophysical properties. Finally, we prove the functional relevance of the biological origin by demonstrating a regulatory effect of the matrix on multi-lineage differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells emphasizing the significance of matrix specificity for cellular behavior in artificial microenvironments.