A diverse array of environmental factors contributes to the overall control of stem cell activity. In particular, new data continue to mount on the influence of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on stem cell fate through physical interactions with cells, such as the control of cell geometry, ECM geometry/topography at the nanoscale, ECM mechanical properties, and the transmission of mechanical or other biophysical factors to the cell. Here, we review some of the physical processes by which cues from the ECM can influence stem cell fate, with particular relevance to the use of stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2 2009


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