Biomimetic Nanofibers as Artificial Stem Cell Niche

Xiaowei Li, Yu Hao Cheng, Jose Roman, Hai Quan Mao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stem cell niche provides a complex array of biochemical and physical signals in a temporally and spatially defined fashion, which engages and instructs stem cells to proliferate, migrate, and differentiate. Understanding molecular and structural components of stem cell niche and their respective functions is critical to the development of effective methodologies for stem cell manipulation. Polymeric nanofiber matrices have been developed to mimic the key physical and structural characteristics of stem cell niche. In this chapter, three major methods for preparation of polymeric nanofibers are reviewed, including electrospinning, solution phase separation, and self-assembly, followed by case studies on various nanofiber matrices to regulate stem cell adhesion, morphology/alignment, migration, proliferation, differentiation, and maturation. In particular, the function of nanofibers for the delivery of stem cells to regenerate various types of tissue is highlighted. Lastly, critical challenges and future directions in the development of biomimetic nanofibers as an artificial stem cell niche for regenerative medicine applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiology and Engineering of Stem Cell Niches
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128027561
ISBN (Print)9780128027349
StatePublished - Apr 14 2017


  • Biomimetic
  • Nanofiber
  • Polymer
  • Stem cell niche
  • Tissue regeneration


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