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Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2013 Jun;40(2):47-54. doi: 10.5653/cerm.2013.40.2.47. Epub 2013 Jun 30.

Stem cell maintenance in a different niche.

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  • 1WCU Biomodulation Program, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. ; Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


To overcome the difficulty of controlling stem cell fate and function in applications to regenerative medicine, a number of alternative approaches have been made. Recent reports demonstrate that a non-cellular niche modulating the biophysical microenvironment with chemical factors can support stem cell self-renewal. In our previous studies, early establishment was executed to optimize biophysical factors and it was subsequently found that the microgeometry of the extracellular matrix made huge differences in stem cell behavior and phenotype. We review here a three-dimensional, non-cellular niche designed to support stem cell self-renewal. The characteristics of stem cells under the designed system are further discussed.


Extracellular matrix; Non-cellular niche; Self-renewal; Stem cells; Three-dimensional

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