Amniogenesis—the development of amnion—is a critical developmental milestone for early human embryogenesis and successful pregnancy1, 2. However, human amniogenesis is poorly understood due to limited accessibility to peri-implantation embryos and a lack of in vitro models. Here we report an efficient biomaterial system to generate human amnion-like tissue in vitro through self-organized development of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in a bioengineered niche mimicking the in vivo implantation environment. We show that biophysical niche factors act as a switch to toggle hPSC self-renewal versus amniogenesis under self-renewal-permissive biochemical conditions. We identify a unique molecular signature of hPSC-derived amnion-like cells and show that endogenously activated BMP–SMAD signalling is required for the amnion-like tissue development by hPSCs. This study unveils the self-organizing and mechanosensitive nature of human amniogenesis and establishes the first hPSC-based model for investigating peri-implantation human amnion development, thereby helping advance human embryology and reproductive medicine.
Home Journal Papers Self-organized amniogenesis by human pluripotent stem cells in a biomimetic implantation-like niche