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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 429890, 9 pages
Research Article

Control of Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Altering the Geometry of Nanofibers

1Department of Fibre Amenity Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-8507, Japan
2Department of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-8507, Japan

Received 30 April 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: A. M. Rao

Copyright © 2012 Satoshi Fujita et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Effective differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is required for clinical applications. To control MSC differentiation, induction media containing different types of soluble factors have been used to date; however, it remains challenging to obtain a uniformly differentiated population of an appropriate quality for clinical application by this approach. We attempted to develop nanofiber scaffolds for effective MSC differentiation by mimicking anisotropy of the extracellular matrix structure, to assess whether differentiation of these cells can be controlled by using geometrically different scaffolds. We evaluated MSC differentiation on aligned and random nanofibers, fabricated by electrospinning. We found that induction of MSCs into adipocytes was markedly more inhibited on random nanofibers than on aligned nanofibers. In addition, adipoinduction on aligned nanofibers was also inhibited in the presence of mixed adipoinduction and osteoinduction medium, although osteoinduction was not affected by a change in scaffold geometry. Thus, we have achieved localized control over the direction of differentiation through changes in the alignment of the scaffold even in the presence of a mixed medium. These findings indicate that precise control of MSC differentiation can be attained by using scaffolds with different geometry, rather than by the conventional use of soluble factors in the medium.