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Primary Salivary Human Stem/Progenitor Cells Undergo Microenvironment-Driven Acinar-Like Differentiation in Hyaluronate Hydrogel Culture

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An ex vivo culture system used to isolate scalable quantities of hS/PCs with consistent expression of progenitor markers, is reported here. These hS/PCs can be maintained in long-term culture in 2D or in 3D, without loss of stem/progenitor markers.  Incorporation of bioactive basement membrane-derived peptides in the 3D hyaluronate (HA) hydrogel culture system enhances progenitor expansion.  Stimulation of hS/PC spheroids with neurotransmitter agonists leads to differentiation toward an acinar lineage.

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