Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Ning Zhang, Ph.D.


The clinical demand for neural stem cells drives the need for a reproducible method used to generate a large quantity of well-characterized cells to support regenerative therapies. Microcarriers are currently being used as a scaffold for stem cell culture to aid in this expansion process because they provide a larger surface area while also requiring fewer cell passages compared to monolayer culture. The main objective of this project was to investigate how human neural stem cell attachment, proliferation, and multipotency would respond to three-dimensional (3D) culture using peptide-coated microcarriers of varying diameters. In this study, multi-sized polystyrene microcarriers were fabricated using a vibration generator and solvent evaporation techniques in order to optimize the size distribution and homogeneity of the scaffold. Overall, the results indicated that when supplemented with a beneficial surface coating, the constructed microcarriers were successful at promoting stem cell attachment, growth, and viability without interference from surface curvature. This research will provide insight for further studies involving the feasibility of 3D culture on neuronal differentiation, the scale-up advantage of microcarriers, and clinical therapies.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission