Toward Xeno-Free Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Small Intestinal Epithelial Cells

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The small intestinal epithelium has an important role in nutrition, but also in drug absorption and metabolism. There are a few two-dimensional (2D) patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based intestinal models enabling easy evaluation of transcellular transport. It is known that animal-derived components induce variation in the experimental outcomes. Therefore, we aimed to refine the differentiation protocol by using animal-free components. More specifically, we compared maturation of 2D-cultured iPCSs toward small intestinal epithelial cells when cultured either with or without serum, and either on Geltrex or on animal-free, recombinant laminin-based substrata. Differentiation status was characterized by qPCR, immunofluorescence imaging, and functionality assays. Our data suggest that differentiation toward definitive endoderm is more efficient without serum. Both collagen-and recombinant laminin-based coating supported differentiation of definitive endoderm, posterior definitive endoderm, and small intestinal epithelial cells from iPS-cells equally well. Small intestinal epithelial cells differentiated on recombinant laminin exhibited slightly more enterocyte specific cellular functionality than cells differentiated on Geltrex. Our data suggest that functional small intestinal epithelial cells can be generated from iPSCs in serum-free method on xeno-free substrata. This method is easily converted to an entirely xeno-free method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1312
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 2D iPSC-SIEC
  • Induced pluripotent stem cell
  • IPSC
  • KO-SR
  • Recombinant laminin
  • Serum-free culture
  • Small intestinal epithelial cell

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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