© WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
August 02, 2012
Stem Cells: Fiber Thickness to Direct Stem Cell Differentiation
Ashleigh Cooper, Matthew Leung and Miqin Zhang*
The design of artificial extracellular matrix has gained great importance for regenerative medicine. Miqin Zhang (University of Washington, Seattle) and coworkers developed a fiber matrices system that is able to direct the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells in the absence of any soluble signals. The electrospun chitosan-based fibers were synthesized with diameters ranging from 0.4-1.1 μm. The researchers could show that the changes in fiber thickness are enough to induce differentiation. Thinner fibers induced cell commitment to the osteogenic and hepatic cells whereas lager fibers lead to neuronal differentiation. This system might have great potential in tissue engineering for directed cell-based therapy.
Macromol. Biosci., DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201100269
Other contributions to the article series on stem cells can be found here.