New multidimensional model of trophoblast motility uses a functionalized hydrogel

Trophoblast cells, which surround the developing blastocyst in early pregnancy, play an important role in implantation in the uterine wall.

A new multidimensional model of trophoblast motility that utilizes a functionalized hydrogel is described in the peer-reviewed journal Tissue Engineering, Part A.

This valuable new tool, based on a methacrylamide-functionalized gelatin hydrogel, can be used for three-dimensional trophoblast spheroid motility assays. It can resolve quantifiable differences in outgrowth area and viability in the presence of a known invasion promoter and a known invasion inhibitor.

Implantation involves a highly coordinated molecular dialogue between endometrial cells and trophoblast cells. Developing a deeper understanding of the biological mechanisms surrounding implantation may provide critical insights into pregnancy and pregnancy disorders."

Brendan Harley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Dr. Harley and his colleagues at Illinois have provided a fundamental work to the growing field of pregnancy models, with a particular focus on the role of trophoblast migration. Here, the research team nicely showed that key factors - EGF and TGF-beta1 - play a critical role in modulating trophoblast motility, and thus provide a pathway for better understanding these events during normal and complex pregnancies," says Tissue Engineering Co-Editor-in-Chief John P. Fisher, PhD, Fischell Family Distinguished Professor & Department Chair, and Director of the NIH Center for Engineering Complex Tissues at the University of Maryland.

Journal reference:

Zambuto, S. G., et al. (2020) Tuning Trophoblast Motility in a Gelatin Hydrogel via Soluble Cues from the Maternal–Fetal Interface. Tissue Engineering.


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