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Engineering a stem cell house into a home

Baxter Laboratory in Stem Cell Biology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Stem Cell Research & Therapy (Impact Factor: 4.63). 01/2011; 2(1):3. DOI: 10.1186/scrt44
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the body, tissue homeostasis is established and maintained by resident tissue-specific adult stem cells (aSCs). Through preservation of bidirectional communications with the surrounding niche and integration of biophysical and biochemical cues, aSCs actively direct the regeneration of aged, injured and diseased tissues. Currently, the ability to guide the behavior and fate of aSCs in the body or in culture after prospective isolation is hindered by our poor comprehension of niche composition and the regulation it imposes. Two-and three-dimensional biomaterials approaches permit systematic analysis of putative niche elements as well as screening approaches to identify novel regulatory mechanisms governing stem cell fate. The marriage of stem cell biology with creative bioengineering technology has the potential to expand our basic understanding of stem cell regulation imposed by the niche and to develop novel regenerative medicine applications.

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Available from: Penney Gilbert, Jun 07, 2014
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    • "For example, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), grown on collagen-coated polyacrylamide gels engineered to mimic the elasticity of tissues, upregulate markers indicative of differentiation towards cells of those tissues (Engler et al., 2006). The elastic modulus of hydrogels has previously been experimentally manipulated by varying acrylamide and bis-acrylamide concentrations (Engler et al., 2004) or the percentage of polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer in solution (Gilbert and Blau, 2011; Kloxin et al., 2010a, 2010b). Interactions of cells with materials such as alginate (Lee and Mooney, 2012), collagen (Grinnell, 2003), hyaluronic acid (Shu et al., 2002), polyacrylamide (Engler et al., 2006), and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) (Tan et al., 2003) have all been extensively characterized. "
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    • "A vision of in situ guided tissue regeneration strategies has been developed, where smart materials delivering peptide or small molecules with and without regenerative cells can be applied with minimally invasive techniques to enhance endogenous regeneration respecting (stem) cell biology and developmental processes (Gilbert and Blau 2011; Lutolf et al. 2009; Uebersax et al. 2009). Exciting developments in material science are capable of perfectly matching these scenarios using intelligent and functional materials, which can also be designed for perfect timely release of factors involved in regeneration (Astachov et al. 2011; Chen et al. 2010; Di Maggio et al. 2011; Dvir et al. 2011; Gilbert and Blau 2011; Grafahrend et al. 2010; Klinkhammer et al. 2010; Lutolf et al. 2009; Meinel et al. 2009; Votteler et al. 2010). Cellular and organismal aging phenomena in an elderly and diseased target population for regenerative strategies may be serious obstacles for successful treatment regimens. "
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