Cutting-Edge Microfabricated Biomedical Tools for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research

Ken ichiro Kamei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs, respectively), continue to attract researchers and clinicians as well as patients worldwide because of their applicability in regenerative medicine, cell-based therapies, and drug discovery. However, conventional biomedical approaches for stem cell research provide only limited insights regarding how stem cells are regulated in our body and how we could control them. To accelerate the progress of stem cell research and their applications, interdisciplinary research needs to be carried out to enable access of or mimic in vivo physiological conditions and to investigate their functions. In the past few decades, progress in microfabrication engineering has had a tremendous impact in both academia and industry (electronics, mechanics, chemicals, and environments), and many people have realized that microfabricated tools hold great potential for applications in stem cell research because they allow precise manipulation of a wide range of biological materials, including small molecules, DNA/RNA, proteins, cells, and tissues. In this review, I describe advanced microfabricated tools for studying the mechanisms of in vivo stem cell regulation and precise manipulation of stem cells, notably hPSCs, and concerns of using such tools for stem cell research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-481
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of laboratory automation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • cellular heterogeneity
  • differentiation
  • human pluripotent stem cells
  • microfabrication
  • niche
  • self-renewal
  • single-cell manipulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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