MSC viability and proliferation was maintained up to seven days in the presence of pullulan. (A) MSC metabolic activity was assessed by quantitative formazan production (A490). MSCs were cultured in 0%, 2% and 5% pullulan for one, three and seven days. An increase in metabolism at day 1 was observed in MSCs cultured in 5% pullulan as compared to 0% controls. Metabolic activity was maintained at days 3 and 7 in all cultures, but consistently increased over time with no significant change due to pullulan treatment. (B) An increase in MSC DNA concentration as assayed by PicoGreen incorporation was observed in all culture conditions between days 1 and 3, with a significant decrease in DNA concentration of MSCs cultured in 2% pullulan after seven days as compared to controls at the same time point. (C) The ratio of metabolic activity normalised to DNA content indicated a non-significant increase in MSC metabolism at day 1 in MSCs exposed to 5% pullulan; however, metabolic activity in all cultures decreased with time, returning to day 1 levels at day 7. Data are presented as the mean ± SD of n = 3 biological replicates generated using triplicate measurements, ** = P ≤ 0.01. MSC mesenchymal stem cell; SD, standard deviation.