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Biomaterials. 2008 Jan;29(3):302-13. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Assessment of stem cell/biomaterial combinations for stem cell-based tissue engineering.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research, IZKF "BIOMAT.", RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany. sneuss-stein@ukaachen.de

Abstract

Biomaterials are used in tissue engineering with the aim to repair or reconstruct tissues and organs. Frequently, the identification and development of biomaterials is an iterative process with biomaterials being designed and then individually tested for their properties in combination with one specific cell type. However, recent efforts have been devoted to systematic, combinatorial and parallel approaches to identify biomaterials, suitable for specific applications. Embryonic and adult stem cells represent an ideal cell source for tissue engineering. Since stem cells can be readily isolated, expanded and transplanted, their application in cell-based therapies has become a major focus of research. Biomaterials can potentially influence e.g. stem cell proliferation and differentiation in both, positive or negative ways and biomaterial characteristics have been applied to repel or attract stem cells in a niche-like microenvironment. Our consortium has now established a grid-based platform to investigate stem cell/biomaterial interactions. So far, we have assessed 140 combinations of seven different stem cell types and 19 different polymers performing systematic screening assays to analyse parameters such as morphology, vitality, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and proliferation. We thus can suggest and advise for and against special combinations for stem cell-based tissue engineering.

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