With the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, it is now possible to convert differentiated somatic cells into multipotent stem cells that have the capacity to generate all cell types of adult tissues. Thus, there is a wide variety of applications for this technology, including regenerative medicine, in vitro disease modeling, and drug screening/discovery. Although biological and biochemical techniques have been well established for cell reprogramming, bioengineering technologies offer novel tools for the reprogramming, expansion, isolation, and differentiation of iPS cells. In this article, we review these bioengineering approaches for the derivation and manipulation of iPS cells and focus on their relevance to regenerative medicine.
Keywords: cell engineering; directed differentiation; iPS cells; tissue regeneration.