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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8642989, 17 pages
Review Article

Direct Control of Stem Cell Behavior Using Biomaterials and Genetic Factors

1Division of Cardiology, Severance Cardiovascular Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Severance Biomedical Science Institute, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea
5Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
6Department of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Hak-Joon Sung; ca.shuy@gnus27jh

Received 2 December 2017; Revised 5 February 2018; Accepted 4 April 2018; Published 10 May 2018

Academic Editor: Açelya Yilmazer

Copyright © 2018 Jeong-Kee Yoon 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.


Stem cells have recently emerged as an important candidate for cell therapy. However, some major limitations still exist such as a small quantity of cell supply, senescence, and insufficient differentiation efficiency. Therefore, there is an unmet need to control stem cell behavior for better clinical performance. Since native microenvironment factors including stem cell niche, genetic factors, and growth factors direct stem cell fate cooperatively, user-specified in vitro settings are required to understand the regulatory roles and effects of each factor, thereby applying the factors for improved cell therapy. Among others, various types of biomaterials and transfection method have been employed as key tools for development of the in vitro settings. This review focuses on the current strategies to improve stemness maintenance, direct differentiation, and reprogramming using biomaterials and genetic factors without any aids from additional biochemicals and growth factors.