Simone I.S. Hendrikse*1, J. Mullenders2, E. de Jongh2, T. Hogervorst3, P.Y.W. Dankers1, E.W. Meijer1


1.   Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O.
Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, the Netherlands
2.   Hubrecht Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), University Medical Centre Utrecht, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands
3.   Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

Stem cells cultured in vitro into organ-like tissue, named organoids, display similar functionalities as in vivo organs and have remarkable regenerative properties.1 However, they are currently cultured in Matrigel hindering further investigations in clinical use. Matrigel is extracted extracellular matrix (ECM) from mouse tumour cells and its composition varies from batch-to-batch causing ethic and reproducibility problems.2 Therefore the search to find an artificial ECM to replace Matrigel is of high importance. Here we aim to investigate the minimal requirements for the culture of stem cells into organoids using a supramolecular dual network. Self-assembled fibres from ureidopyrimidinone (UPy) and/or benzene-1,3,5- tricarboxamide (BTA) based monomers are investigated on both their physical properties as well as their ability to support organoid expansion.

The UPy based fibres are designed to enable cell attachment by RGD and/or laminin peptides, whereas the BTA based fibres are designed to sequester and stabilize growth factors from degradation. Because of the modularity of these supramolecular systems, the macroscopic stiffness as well as the microscopic internal dynamics of functional epitopes can be easily tuned and controlled. This is especially important considering the pulling forces exerted by cells, which cells apply to remodel their surroundings.

Figure 1: Retrosynthetic view of the dual network. One component is self-assembled from UPy based molecules (top) and one phase is self-assembled into fibres using BTA molecules (bottom).

Part of this work is funded by the NWO/DPI program NEWPOL, project #731.015.503. DPI, P.O. Box 902, 5600 AX Eindhoven, the Netherlands


1 Lancaster, M.A. Science 2014, 345 (6194), 1247125

2 Hughes, C.S. Proteomics 2010, 10 (9), 1886


Biographic Details Name: Simone Hendrikse Title: M. Sc.

Affiliation, Country: Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Phone: +3140 2472417 E-mail:

Research interests: biomaterials, supramolecular chemistry, organoids