Bioengineering anembryonic human trophoblast vesicles

Jared C. Robins, Jeffrey R. Morgan, Paula Krueger, Sandra A. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Trophoblast cells in vivo form a 3-dimensional structure that promotes complex cell-to-cell interactions that cannot be studied with traditional monolayer culture. We describe a 3-dimensional trophoblast bioreactor to study cellular interactions. Methods: Nonadhesive agarose hydrogels were cast from molds using computer-assisted prototyping. Trophoblast cells were seeded into the gels for 10 days. Morphology, viability, and vesicle behavior were assessed. Results: Trophoblast cells formed uniform spheroids. Serial sectioning on days 3, 7, and 10 revealed central vacuolization with a consistent outer rim 12.3-μ thick. The vesicle configuration has been confirmed with confocal imaging. Electron Microscopic (EM) imaging revealed its ultrastructure. The vesicles migrate across a fibronectin-coated surface and invaded basementmembrane. Conclusions: Trophoblast cells cultured in a novel substrate-free 3-dimensional system form trophoblast vesicles. This new cell culture technique allows us to better study placental cell-to-cell interactions with the potential of forming microtissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • 3-Dimensional culture
  • Blastocyst
  • Trophoblast cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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