Controlling Stem Cell Differentiation

Controlling Stem Cell Differentiation

Author: ChemistryViews

Uncontrolled differentiation of adult stem cells restricts their therapeutic applications. To control their differentiation, a complex solution of growth factors, cytokines, and chemicals is generally used. Lay Poh Tan and colleagues, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have achieved the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells without additional soluble differentiation factor. Instead, they use a micropatterned poly(lactide-co-glycolide) substrate.

This mimics the in vivo cell organization of heart muscle to direct differentiation. Human mesenchymal stem cells could be forced to adopt an elongated morphology in this way. Additionally, this method could allow stem cell differentiation along different lineages on the same substrate by combining several micropatterns on one substrate. This is not possible with growth factor-based solutions.

Image: (c) Wiley-VCH

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