Wnt Signaling pp 183-196 | Cite as

Directed Endothelial Progenitor Differentiation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Via Wnt Activation Under Defined Conditions

  • Xiaoping Bao
  • Xiaojun Lian
  • Sean P. PalecekEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1481)


Efficient derivation of endothelial cells and their progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can facilitate studies of human vascular development, disease modeling, drug discovery, and cell-based therapy. Here we provide a detailed protocol for directing hPSCs to functional endothelial cells and their progenitors in a completely defined, growth factor- and serum-free system by temporal modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling via small molecules. We demonstrate a 10-day, two-stage process that recapitulates endothelial cell development, in which hPSCs first differentiate to endothelial progenitors that then generate functional endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. Methods to characterize endothelial cell identity and function are also described.

Key words

Human pluripotent stem cells Endothelial progenitors Endothelial cells Wnt signaling Chemically defined Growth factor-free Serum-free Small molecules 



This study was supported by NIH grant R01 EB007534 and NSF grant EFRI 0735903.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical & Biological EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Biology, and Huck Institutes of the Life ScienceThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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