Advances in Polymers for Stem Cell Research

by | Aug 20, 2012

The second part of the series Advances in Polymers for Stem Cell Research by guest editor Suwan N. Jayasinghe is now complete and the last articles just have gone online.

The second part of the series “Advances in Polymers for Stem Cell Research” by guest-editor Suwan N. Jayasinghe is now complete and the last articles have just gone online.

This series aims to give a comprehensive and versatile impression of the interdisciplinary field of Polymers for Stem Cell Research. It brings new insights into how natural and synthetic polymers can be used in conjunctions with stem cells. Some of the best and most famous scientist in this area have contributed and make this series a unique collection of state-of-the-art pieces of research. The series includes reviews and full papers about scaffold design for artificial organs, cell delivery systems, differentiation control and much more.

Read the following articles from the series now for free!

Levenberg and co-workers try to replicate the physicochemical microenvironment observed during the embryonic development by creating morphogenic gradients through the thickness of hydrospun scaffolds. Poly(ε-caprolactone) fibers were loaded with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), and designed to release it at a predetermined rate. The presented results indicate that morphogen gradients can regulate stem cell differentiation patterns.

Both substrate topography and mechanical properties can influence cell behavior. Little is known about the interplay of these two parameters. Reinhart-King and co-workers (Cornell University, Ithaca, USA) present a method to introduce topographical features into polyacrylamide (PA) hydrogel substrates that span a wide range of physiological E values. The scientists find that cells exhibit contact guidance regardless of the stiffness of the substrate.

Sharon Gerecht and co-workers synthesized a dextran-based, biodegradable, temperature-sensitive polymer and tested it as a novel, substrate for nonenzymatic cell detachment. It is found to be compatible for use in endothelial progenitor cell culture as revealed by cell attachment, spreading, proliferation, and phenotype. Because of its complete biodegradability it can directly be used in the culture of stem cells without removing nondegradable polymers.

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