Engineering of the Embryonic and Adult Stem Cell Niches


Mohsen Hosseinkhani 1 , * , Reza Shirazi 1 , Farzad Rajaei 1 , Masoud Mahmoudi 1 , Navid Mohammadi 2 , Mahnaz Abbasi 3

1 Department of Anatomy, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Qazvin, IR Iran

2 Department of Community Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, IR Iran

3 Department of Rheumatology, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Qazvin, IR Iran

How to Cite: Hosseinkhani M, Shirazi R, Rajaei F, Mahmoudi M, Mohammadi N, et al. Engineering of the Embryonic and Adult Stem Cell Niches, Iran Red Crescent Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 15(2):83-92. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.7541.


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 15 (2); 83-92
Published Online: February 4, 2013
Article Type: Review Article
Received: July 31, 2012
Accepted: January 7, 2013


Context: Stem cells have the potential to generate a renewable source of cells for regenerative medicine due to their ability to self-renew and differentiate to various functional cell types of the adult organism. The extracellular microenvironment plays a pivotal role in controlling stem cell fate responses. Therefore, identification of appropriate environmental stimuli that supports cellular proliferation and lineage-specific differentiation is critical for the clinical application of the stem cell therapies.

Evidence Acquisition: Traditional methods for stem cells culture offer limited manipulation and control of the extracellular microenvironment. Micro engineering approaches are emerging as powerful tools to control stem cell-microenvironment interactions and for performing high-throughput stem cell experiments.

Results: In this review, we provided an overview of the application of technologies such as surface micropatterning, microfluidics, and engineered biomaterials for directing stem cell behavior and determining the molecular cues that regulate cell fate decisions.

Conclusions: Stem cells have enormous potential for therapeutic and pharmaceutical applications, because they can give rise to various cell types. Despite their therapeutic potential, many challenges, including the lack of control of the stem cell microenvironment remain. Thus, a greater understanding of stem cell biology that can be used to expand and differentiate embryonic and adult stem cells in a directed manner offers great potential for tissue repair and regenerative medicine.

© 2013, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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