Here, we report the highly efficient in vitro differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MPCs) using a novel nanotechnology-based culture plate, nanoculture plate® (NCP). The NCP contains uneven microfabrications with diameters of ∼2-3μm arranged in a honeycomb pattern on its culture surface, which is devoid of animal-derived protein sources. When human MPCs were subjected to three-dimensional (3D) culture using an NCP, they rapidly formed adhesive spheroids. We showed that adipogenic differentiation in NCP-mediated 3D cultures led to more rapid accumulation of triglycerides than that in two-dimensional cultures. During adipogenesis in 3D cultures, the rapid and intense induction of adipocyte-specific gene expressions, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBP-α), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), and adiponectin was observed. Together, these results indicate that this 3D culture system is suitable for the differentiation of human MPCs into adipogenic lineage, and could be applicable to adipose tissue engineering under xeno-free condition.
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