Review Article | Published:

Harnessing nanotopography and integrin–matrix interactions to influence stem cell fate

Nature Materials volume 13, pages 558569 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Stem cells respond to nanoscale surface features, with changes in cell growth and differentiation mediated by alterations in cell adhesion. The interaction of nanotopographical features with integrin receptors in the cells' focal adhesions alters how the cells adhere to materials surfaces, and defines cell fate through changes in both cell biochemistry and cell morphology. In this Review, we discuss how cell adhesions interact with nanotopography, and we provide insight as to how materials scientists can exploit these interactions to direct stem cell fate and to understand how the behaviour of stem cells in their niche can be controlled. We expect knowledge gained from the study of cell–nanotopography interactions to accelerate the development of next-generation stem cell culture materials and implant interfaces, and to fuel discovery of stem cell therapeutics to support regenerative therapies.

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Acknowledgements

M.J.D, N.G. and R.O.C.O. are funded by grants from BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC. We gratefully acknowledge the encouragement and support of M. Riehle, A. Curtis and the late C. Wilkinson. We thank C. Ranson (Glasgow School of Art) for illustrations of the MSC niche and mechanotransduction. We thank R. Fraser and A. Warren (University of Sydney) for interesting discussions on, and images of, fenestrae. Finally, we thank W. Cushley, C. Berry and J. Dalby for critical reading of the manuscript.

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Affiliations

  1. Centre for Cell Engineering, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Joseph Black Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK

    • Matthew J. Dalby
  2. Division of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8LT, Scotland, UK

    • Nikolaj Gadegaard
  3. Bone and Joint Research Group, Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Institute of Developmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK

    • Richard O. C. Oreffo

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Matthew J. Dalby.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3980

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