Research Topic

Microenvironment modulation of multipotent stem cells

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Multipotent stem cells are plastic progenitor cells that have the potential to replenish specific tissues in the body. Although partially committed to specific tissues, they are still unspecialized cells that continuously sense their niche environment, in a way that subsequently directs their behavior ...

Multipotent stem cells are plastic progenitor cells that have the potential to replenish specific tissues in the body. Although partially committed to specific tissues, they are still unspecialized cells that continuously sense their niche environment, in a way that subsequently directs their behavior according to the microenvironment encountered.

Multipotent stem cells originate from cells of specific lineages and develop into various mature cells, such as neural stem cells (neurons and glia), hematopoietic stem cells (different blood cell types), mesenchymal (bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, etc). Each of these microenvironments supply different cues to their resident or non resident cells, which in turn provide cues to their Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM) to maintain it and at the same time self-sustaining it. The interplay between cells and ECM is indeed very close and the topographical, chemical, mechanical and biological cues provided by each microenvironment modulate cell behavior.

There are different ways to control and manipulate the microenvironment to direct multipotent stem cells behavior, by instructing them to proliferate, differentiate or to produce factors that might stimulate other cell types. Tissue engineering approaches make use of biomaterials that either mimic the native ECM but further improve it to possess characteristics that further direct stem cell behavior or completely create artificial ECM that challenges the cells homeostasis.

Within this Research Topic, we will envisage submissions on any kind of multipotent stem cells, dealing with setting the proper in vitro environment for stem cells to subsist, up to in vivo clinical applications of native or engineered multipotent stem cells, using e.g biomaterials, decellularized extracellular matrices or biomolecules to create favorable microenvironments for stem cells to thrive.


Keywords: stem cells, microenvironment, immune response, regeneration, cell therapy, cell engineering, tissue engineering, biomolecules


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