Multicellular spheroids have been studied in the fields of oncology, stem cell biology, and tissue engineering. In this study, we found a new polymer material for thermo-controlled spheroid/monolayer cell culture switching. The polymers that have pendant ureido groups (ureido polymers) exhibited upper critical solution temperature-type phase separation behavior. Cells in monolayer culture were converted to spheroids by the addition of ureido polymers below phase separation temperature (Tp). Time-lapse observations indicated that cells began to migrate and aggregate to form the spheroids to avoid contact with phase-separated polymer (coacervates) on the surface of the culture dish. We supposed that the coacervates seemingly suppressed interaction between cell and the dish surface or extracellular matrices. By increasing culture temperature above Tp, the spheroids began to collapse into a monolayer of cells due to dissolution of the coacervates. These results indicated that cell morphology could be repeatedly switched by changing the culture temperature in the presence of ureido polymers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)