Controlled differentiation of stem cells

Nathaniel S. Hwang, Shyni Varghese, Jennifer Elisseeff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The extracellular microenvironment plays a significant role in controlling cellular behavior. Identification of appropriate biomaterials that support cellular attachment, proliferation and, most importantly in the case of human embryonic stem cells, lineage-specific differentiation is critical for tissue engineering and cellular therapy. In addition to growth factors and morphogenetic factors known to induce lineage commitment of stem cells, a number of scaffolding materials, including synthetic and naturally-derived biomaterials, have been utilized in tissue engineering approaches to direct differentiation. This review focuses on recent emerging findings and well-characterized differentiation models of human embryonic stem cells. Additionally, we also discuss about various strategies that have been used in stem cell expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2008


  • Biomaterials
  • Biomimetic
  • Differentiation
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Microenvironment
  • Self-renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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