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Regenerative Medicine Aided by Nanotechnology Strategies

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 19 Nov 2013
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Nanotechnology may provide new approaches for regenerative medicine, including better ways to restore or enhance damaged tissues, according to a review article by Taiwanese researchers.

Published October 2013 in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, the study reported on the current state of knowledge on nanotechnology with a focus on stem cell biology applications. Stem cells are an important potential source for repairing injured human tissues. Researchers have found that the adhesion, growth, and differentiation of stem cells are most probably controlled by their surrounding microenvironment, which contains both physical and chemical signals. These signals include the “nanotopography” of the complicated extracellular matrix that comprises a network for human tissues.

Dr. Yang-Kao Wang and colleagues from Taipei Medical University (Taipei City, Taiwan) described in their article studies showing how this nanotopography (which includes nanosized pores, ridges, and grooves) plays critical roles in the behavior and fate of stem cells. The authors also discussed the application of nanoparticles to stem cell isolation, tracking and imaging; how to convert nanotechnology tools from two to three dimensions; and the potential limitations of using nanomaterials in stem cell biology.

The authors concluded that “understanding [the] interactions of nanomaterials with stem cells may provide knowledge applicable to [the development of improved] cell-scaffold combinations in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.”

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Taipei Medical University

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Image: Left: Green actin fibers create architecture of the cell. Right: With cytochalasin D added, actin fibers disband and reform in the nuclei (Photo courtesy of the University of North Carolina).

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