Functional Biomaterials for Controlling Stem Cell Differentiation


Book Section

© 2010, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Differentiation of stem cells has shown to be strongly influenced through several cues provided by reciprocal interactions with the extracellular microenvironment, consisting of soluble bioactive agents and the extracellular matrix.While the dynamic extracellular matrix is difficult to mimic in its entirety, recent research has successfully mimicked individual matrix-centric cues using synthetic polymeric systems to influence differentiation of stem cells into tissue-specific lineages. Material properties that have been shown to direct this differentiation include chemical functionality, mechanical properties, as well as tissue-mimetic modifications such as mineralization. Another aspect of the extracellular microenvironment that has been mimicked in the controlled differentiation of stem cells is the presence of specific bioactive agents. Material-based delivery of these agents allows for the spatiotemporal variation in their presentation to stem cells, allowing for precise control over their terminally differentiated phenotype. Thus, the delivery of bioactive agents to cells via synthetic materials has also been an effective method to influence stem cell differentiation to various tissue-specific lineages. In this chapter, we discuss the use of synthetic materials to direct stem cell differentiation through both, capitulation of matrix-specific biochemical, mechanical and physical cues, as well as the controlled delivery of specific bioactive agents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Phadke, A; Chang, CW; Varghese, S

Published Date

  • January 1, 2010

Volume / Issue

  • 2 /

Book Title

  • Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

Start / End Page

  • 19 - 44

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/8415_2010_2

Citation Source

  • Scopus