A Platform for Studying of the Three-Dimensional Migration of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells

  • Eunjin Lee
  • Jieun Kim
  • Yungyeong KangEmail author
  • Jung-Woog ShinEmail author
Original Article



Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) have the property to return to the bone marrow, which is believed to be critical in situations such as HSPC transplantation. This property plays an important role in the stemness, viability, and proliferation of HSPCs, also. However, most in vitro models so far have not sufficiently simulated the complicate environment. Here, we proposed a three-dimensional experimental platform for the quantitative study of the migration of HSPCs.


After encapsulating osteoblasts (OBs) in alginate beads, we quantified the migration of HSPCs into the beads due to the physical environment using digital image processing. Intermittent hydrostatic pressure (IHP) was used to mimic the mechanical environment of human bone marrow without using any biochemical factors. The expression of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) under IHP was measured.


The results showed that the presence of OBs in the hydrogel scaffold initiate the movement of HSPCs. Furthermore, the IHP promotes the migration of HSPCs, even without the addition of any biochemical factors, and the results were confirmed by measuring SDF-1 levels.


We believe this suggested three-dimensional experimental platform consisting of a simulated in vivo physical environment and encapsulated OBs should contribute to in vitro migration studies used to investigate the effects of other external factors.


Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell Migration Intermittent hydrostatic pressure Stromal cell-derived factor 1 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (NRF-2015M3A9B6073643).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical statement

There are no animal experiments carried out for this article.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringInje UniversityGimhae-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center, Institute of Aged Life Redesign, UHARCInje UniversityGimhae-siRepublic of Korea

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