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Engineering strategies to emulate the stem cell niche
- Vazin, Tandis, Schaffer, David V.
- Trends in biotechnology 2010 v.28 no.3 pp. 117-124
- engineering, population, stem cells
- The stem cell niche is an anatomical site that contains a reservoir of multipotent stem cells (SCs) that can maintain normal tissue, or replenish injured or aged cell populations, in response to mechanisms that regulate whether they should remain quiescent, undergo self-renewal, or differentiate. The choice among these hallmark SC behaviors is governed by intricate soluble and “solid phase” signals that are systemic or presented by the local niche cells. In this review, we discuss the progress achieved in understanding the mechanisms and principles that govern microenvironmental regulation of SC behavior, and focus on novel approaches that have been developed to synthesize this basic information to engineer creative strategies for harnessing and controlling SCs ex vivo and in vivo.