, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 287–304 | Cite as

Chemically Modified Micro- and Nanostructured Systems for Pluripotent Stem Cell Culture

  • Michael R. ZoncaJr.
  • Yubing XieEmail author


Due to their self-renewal capacity, pluripotent stem cells have great potential in the fields of drug discovery, tissue regeneration, and cell therapy. Micro- and nanostructured systems (e.g., micro nanofibers, nanofilms, microcarriers, and microcapsules) have been developed to culture pluripotent stem cells. To achieve the full potential of these cells, strategies must be implemented to maintain them in a pluripotent state during expansion and direct them to desired cell lineage with high efficiency. Substrate chemistry plays a critical role in regulating stem cell fate decision. This article will discuss the roles of both peptide-based and organic-based surface chemistries and their potential to mimic cell–ECM binding, therefore influencing long-term stem cell self-renewal, maintenance of pluripotency, and differentiation. High-throughput approaches will enable the identification of the optimal substrate chemistries for pluripotent stem cell attachment, long-term maintenance, and directed differentiation. The incorporation of the optimal substrate chemistry into micro- and nanostructured systems will offer the most efficient approach to pluripotent stem cell propagation and differentiation.


Surface chemistry Embryonic stem cell Induced pluripotent stem cell Nanofiber Microcarrier Hydrogel 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. CBET 0846270 and DBI 0922830. We thank Professor Georges Belfort at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for insightful discussions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Nanoscale Science and EngineeringUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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