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The choice of substrate for mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in planar cultures is best determined in the context of the entire in vitro environment, including the media. For serum containing media, substrates such as tissue culture treated (TC) or Corning® CellBIND® surfaces are recommended. If you are using xeno or animal free media then we recommend Corning human fibronectin, Corning PureCoat™ fibronectin mimetic or Synthemax® surfaces.
In a 3D culture environment, MSCs have been cultured, co-cultured and differentiated on Matrigel matrix. Li. et. al., have demonstrated that 3D co-culture of BM-MSCs and eccrine sweat gland cells in Matrigel matrix promotes trans-differentiation of BM-MSCs (J Mol. Histol. 2015. 46:431-8). Matrigel matrix can also be used in vitro as a thick gel where cells can be embedded or seeded on top of the matrix layer (overlay method). Furthermore, the elastic moduli of Matrigel matrix can also be tuned by providing softer or stiffer gels to suit application need (See Corning Application Note CLS-AC-AN-449).