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Biomaterials. 2012 Oct;33(28):6626-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.05.070. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Guidance of stem cell fate on 2D patterned surfaces.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Stem cells possess unique abilities as they can renew themselves for extended periods of time and have the capacity to differentiate into a variety of lineages. They hold promise for treating a plethora of diseases ranging from musculoskeletal defects to myocardial infarction and to neural disorders. Understanding how to control the fate decision of these cells to self-renew or differentiate is paramount in stem cell tissue engineering. Recently, significant progress has been made in guiding stem cell differentiation in vitro, and we are beginning to understand the complex interplay of factors that control their fate. Here, we highlight the recent approaches for guidance of stem cells through patterning of surfaces at the micro- and nanoscale. Particular attention is given to chemical patterning of substrates with adhesion ligands and physical patterning with a variety of topographical features. These surface-mediated biochemical and mechanical cues have proven influential in altering a wide range of stem cell phenotypes. This approach to guide or ultimately control stem cells by surface patterning has enormous potential implications in cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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