Lactococcus lactis, a non-pathogenic bacteria, has been genetically engineered to express the III7-10 fragment of human fibronectin as a membrane protein. The engineered L. lactis is able to develop biofilms on different surfaces (such as glass and synthetic polymers) and serves as a long-term substrate for mammalian cell culture, specifically human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC). This system constitutes a living interface between biomaterials and stem cells. The engineered biofilms remain stable and viable for up to 28 days while the expressed fibronectin fragment induces hMSC adhesion. We have optimised conditions to allow long-term mammalian cell culture, and found that the biofilm is functionally equivalent to a fibronectin-coated surface in terms of osteoblastic differentiation using bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) added to the medium. This living bacteria interface holds promise as a dynamic substrate for stem cell differentiation that can be further engineered to express other biochemical cues to control hMSC differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes