Engineering Nanoscale Stem Cell Niche: Direct Stem Cell Behavior at Cell-Matrix Interface

Yan Zhang, Andrew Gordon, Weiyi Qian, Weiqiang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biophysical cues on the extracellular matrix (ECM) have proven to be significant regulators of stem cell behavior and evolution. Understanding the interplay of these cells and their extracellular microenvironment is critical to future tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, both of which require a means of controlled differentiation. Research suggests that nanotopography, which mimics the local, nanoscale, topographic cues within the stem cell niche, could be a way to achieve large-scale proliferation and control of stem cells in vitro. This Progress Report reviews the history and contemporary advancements of this technology, and pays special attention to nanotopographic fabrication methods and the effect of different nanoscale patterns on stem cell response. Finally, it outlines potential intracellular mechanisms behind this response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1900-1914
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Nanotopography
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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