Application of biomaterials to advance induced pluripotent stem cell research and therapy

EMBO J. 2015 Apr 15;34(8):987-1008. doi: 10.15252/embj.201490756. Epub 2015 Mar 12.


Derived from any somatic cell type and possessing unlimited self-renewal and differentiation potential, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are poised to revolutionize stem cell biology and regenerative medicine research, bringing unprecedented opportunities for treating debilitating human diseases. To overcome the limitations associated with safety, efficiency, and scalability of traditional iPSC derivation, expansion, and differentiation protocols, biomaterials have recently been considered. Beyond addressing these limitations, the integration of biomaterials with existing iPSC culture platforms could offer additional opportunities to better probe the biology and control the behavior of iPSCs or their progeny in vitro and in vivo. Herein, we discuss the impact of biomaterials on the iPSC field, from derivation to tissue regeneration and modeling. Although still exploratory, we envision the emerging combination of biomaterials and iPSCs will be critical in the successful application of iPSCs and their progeny for research and clinical translation.

Keywords: biomaterials; disease modeling; expansion; induced pluripotent stem cells; reprogramming.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Cellular Reprogramming
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Tissue Engineering / methods


  • Biocompatible Materials