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Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013;4(5):106.

Modulating the biochemical and biophysical culture environment to enhance osteogenic differentiation and maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal progenitors.


Advances in the fields of stem cell biology, biomaterials, and tissue engineering over the last decades have brought the possibility of constructing tissue substitutes with a broad range of applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and drug discovery. Different types of human stem cells have been used, each presenting a unique set of advantages and limitations with regard to the desired research goals. Whereas adult stem cells are at the frontier of research for tissue and organ regeneration, pluripotent stem cells represent a more challenging cell source for clinical translation. However, with their unlimited growth and wide differentiation potential, pluripotent stem cells represent an unprecedented resource for the construction of advanced human tissue models for biological studies and drug discovery. At the heart of these applications lies the challenge to reproducibly expand, differentiate, and organize stem cells into mature, stable tissue structures. In this review, we focus on the derivation of mesenchymal tissue progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells and the control of their osteogenic differentiation and maturation by modulation of the biophysical culture environment. Similarly to enhancing bone development, the described principles can be applied to the construction of other mesenchymal tissues for basic and applicative studies.

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