Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are totipotent, self-renewing, and clonogenic, having potential to differentiate into a wide variety of cell types. Due to regenerative capability, it has tremendous potential for treating myocardial infarction (death of myocardial tissue) and type 1 diabetes (death of pancreatic beta cells). Understanding the components regulating ESC differentiation is the key to unlock the regenerative potential of ESC-based therapies. Both the stiffness of extracellular matrix (ECM) and surrounding niche/microenvironment play pivotal roles in ESC differentiation. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) induces fi brosis that causes stiffness of the ECM and impairs differentiation of cardiac stem cells into cardiomyocytes. Here, we describe the method of ESC culture and differentiation, and the expression of MMP9 and its inhibitor, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-4 (TIMP4) in differentiating ESC.