Using nanotopography and metabolomics to identify biochemical effectors of multipotency

ACS Nano. 2012 Nov 27;6(11):10239-49. doi: 10.1021/nn304046m. Epub 2012 Oct 24.


It is emerging that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) metabolic activity may be a key regulator of multipotency. The metabolome represents a "snapshot" of the stem cell phenotype, and therefore metabolic profiling could, through a systems biology approach, offer and highlight critical biochemical pathways for investigation. To date, however, it has remained difficult to undertake unbiased experiments to study MSC multipotency in the absence of strategies to retain multipotency without recourse to soluble factors that can add artifact to experiments. Here we apply a nanotopographical systems approach linked to metabolomics to regulate plasticity and demonstrate rapid metabolite reorganization, allowing rational selection of key biochemical targets of self-renewal (ERK1/2, LDL, and Jnk). We then show that these signaling effectors regulate functional multipotency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Metabolome / physiology*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Proteome
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Surface Properties


  • Proteome