Controlling Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells Using Extracellular Matrix Protein Patterns

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
Small (Impact Factor: 8.37). 11/2010; 6(22):2509-13. DOI: 10.1002/smll.201001341
Source: PubMed


The frontispiece shows the fabrication of combinatorial extracellular matrix (ECM) protein patterns using soft lithography for the attachment, growth, and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs). Neural stem cells are multipotent and can differentiate into neurons or glial cells in response to multiple cues. In their Communication, K.‐B. Lee and co‐workers demonstrate how combinatorial arrays of ECM patterns can be used to investigate the effect of pattern geometry and dimension, and guide cell‐cell interactions so as to selectively modulate neuronal differentiation of NSCs. Grid patterns of laminin led to higher cell–cell interactions as compared to stripes and squares of laminin. They observed a significantly higher neuronal differentiation of NSCs patterned on the grids of laminin, which was confirmed by the colocalization of two neuronal markers, TuJ1 and synapsin. Potentially, their approach and methodology can be helpful for deconvoluting physical cues and cell–cell interactions from complex microenvironmental cues. For more information, please read the Communication “Controlling Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells Using Extracellular Matrix Protein Patterns” by K.‐B. Lee and co‐workers, beginning on page 2508.

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    • "This approach may also fulfill biomimetic considerations by mimicking in vivo cell architecture and physiology. For neuronal cells, micropatterns have been utilized to control neuronal cell morphology [2] [5], organize neuronal networks [3] [7] and direct neuronal differentiation of stem cells [8] [9]. Various soluble factors, e.g. "
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    • "The stellate morphology resulted in an enhanced expression of the neural marker β-TubIII. In summary, these reports [8,9,57] validate the feasibility of controlling the fate of both MSCs and NSCs by culturing cells on micropatterned surfaces. "
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