Controlled differentiation of stem cells

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Jan 14;60(2):199-214. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2007.08.036. Epub 2007 Oct 11.


The extracellular microenvironment plays a significant role in controlling cellular behavior. Identification of appropriate biomaterials that support cellular attachment, proliferation and, most importantly in the case of human embryonic stem cells, lineage-specific differentiation is critical for tissue engineering and cellular therapy. In addition to growth factors and morphogenetic factors known to induce lineage commitment of stem cells, a number of scaffolding materials, including synthetic and naturally-derived biomaterials, have been utilized in tissue engineering approaches to direct differentiation. This review focuses on recent emerging findings and well-characterized differentiation models of human embryonic stem cells. Additionally, we also discuss about various strategies that have been used in stem cell expansion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins