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Biomaterials to Direct Stem Cell Fate

Call for Papers

The development of novel and improved biomaterials has already had a great impact in the nanotechnology field and provided the ability to better mimic the native microenvironment for biomedical applications. The cell and biomaterial interface is a complex and dynamic microenvironment in which the cell and the material cooperatively dictate cell's fate; cells remodel their surrounding environment and biomaterials affect cellular behaviour through their inherent properties.

Studies in the past few years have emphasized that inherent properties of biomaterials including stiffness, nanotopography, and chemical functionality have been shown to direct stem cell fate. Depending on these properties, biomaterials can stimulate lineage specific stem cell differentiation, transdifferentiation, and even stimulate cellular reprogramming towards pluripotency. Therefore, diversity of biomaterials and their inherent characteristics represent a tremendous opportunity for biomedical scientists to develop novel technologies to direct stem cell fate and develop novel technologies for tissue engineering. However, studies until now have not fully characterized the required inherent properties for these different biological processes, especially cellular reprogramming. Furthermore, due to the highly complex, multicomponent signalling milieu present in the cellular environment, not all mechanisms have been fully discovered by which stem cells respond to each biomaterial characteristics. Especially, studies focusing on the roles of different components of cytoskeleton, signalling pathways, and epigenetic mechanisms which are involved during biophysical regulation of stem cell fate, are limited.

We believe this Special Issue will attract multidisciplinary research involving scientists from stem cells, tissue engineering, material scientists, epigenetics, and cell biology. We aim to answer the following questions: how can biomaterials with different inherent properties be used to direct stem cell fate in vitro and in vivo? How are signals exerted by biomaterials transmitted to nuclear region, resulting in epigenetic remodelling in stem cells? Which mechanisms play a role during this transduction? The topic of this Special Issue can easily encourage researchers to submit research articles as well as review articles since the use of biomaterials to direct stem cell fate is fairly new.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Biomaterials inducing stem cell differentiation
  • Biomaterials inducing cell reprogramming towards induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Biomaterials inducing transdifferentiation of somatic cells, offering alternatives to stem cells
  • Biomaterials keeping cells pluripotent
  • 3-dimensional biomaterials to direct cell fate towards stem cells differentiation or induced pluripotent stem cell generation
  • Biomaterials and stem cell interface
  • Cytoskeletal elements playing a role in biomaterial directed stem cell fate
  • Signalling pathways playing role in biomaterial directed stem cell fate
  • The epigenetic regulation of biomaterials and stem cell fate
  • The effect of immune system on biomaterial directed stem cell fate

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 4 May 2018
Publication DateSeptember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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