• Induced pluripotent stem cells;
  • Mesenchymal stem cells;
  • Bone;
  • Xenogeneic-free culture;
  • Regeneration


Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may represent an ideal cell source for research and applications in regenerative medicine. However, standard culture conditions that depend on the use of undefined substrates and xenogeneic medium components represent a significant obstacle to clinical translation. Recently, we reported a defined culture system for human embryonic stem cells using a synthetic polymer coating, poly[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl)ammonium hydroxide] (PMEDSAH), in conjunction with xenogeneic-free culture medium. Here, we tested the hypothesis that iPSCs could be maintained in an undifferentiated state in this xeno-free culture system and subsequently be differentiated into mesenchymal stem cells (iPS-MSCs). hiPSCs were cultured on PMEDSAH and differentiated into functional MSCs, as confirmed by expression of characteristic MSC markers (CD166+, CD105+, CD90+,CD73+, CD31−, CD34−, and CD45−) and their ability to differentiate in vitro into adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteoblastic lineages. To demonstrate the potential of iPS-MSCs to regenerate bone in vivo, the newly derived cells were induced to osteoblast differentiation for 4 days and transplanted into calvaria defects in immunocompromised mice for 8 weeks. MicroCT and histologic analyses demonstrated de novo bone formation in the calvaria defects for animals treated with iPS-MSCs but not for the control group. Moreover, positive staining for human nuclear antigen and human mitochondria monoclonal antibodies confirmed the participation of the transplanted hiPS-MSCs in the regenerated bone. These results demonstrate that hiPSCs cultured in a xeno-free system have the capability to differentiate into functional MSCs with the ability to form bone in vivo. STEM CELLS2012;30:1174–1181