Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. May 26, 2015; 7(4): 728-744
Published online May 26, 2015. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i4.728
Structural properties of scaffolds: Crucial parameters towards stem cells differentiation
Laleh Ghasemi-Mobarakeh, Molamma P Prabhakaran, Lingling Tian, Elham Shamirzaei-Jeshvaghani, Leila Dehghani, Seeram Ramakrishna
Laleh Ghasemi-Mobarakeh, Elham Shamirzaei-Jeshvaghani, Department of Textile Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran
Molamma P Prabhakaran, Lingling Tian, Seeram Ramakrishna, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, 2 Engineering Drive 3, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Singapore
Leila Dehghani, Department of Medical Science, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Branch, Isfahan, 81595158, Iran
Leila Dehghani, Isfahan Neurosciences Research Center, AlZahra Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, 8174675731, Iran
Author contributions: All the authors solely contributed to this paper.
Conflict-of-interest: None to declare.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Laleh Ghasemi-Mobarakeh, PhD, Department of Textile Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Daneshgah e Sanati HW, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran.
Telephone: +98-31-33911092 Fax: +98-31-33912444
Received: October 21, 2014
Peer-review started: October 22, 2014
First decision: November 27, 2014
Revised: December 18, 2014
Accepted: March 4, 2015
Article in press: March 5, 2015
Published online: May 26, 2015

Tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life-sciences for regeneration of damaged tissues. Stem cells have attracted much interest in tissue engineering as a cell source due to their ability to proliferate in an undifferentiated state for prolonged time and capability of differentiating to different cell types after induction. Scaffolds play an important role in tissue engineering as a substrate that can mimic the native extracellular matrix and the properties of scaffolds have been shown to affect the cell behavior such as the cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation. Here, we focus on the recent reports that investigated the various aspects of scaffolds including the materials used for scaffold fabrication, surface modification of scaffolds, topography and mechanical properties of scaffolds towards stem cells differentiation effect. We will present a more detailed overview on the effect of mechanical properties of scaffolds on stem cells fate.

Keywords: Stem cells, Tissue engineering, Differentiation, Mechanical properties, Surface modification, Topography

Core tip: Application of stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has attracted many researchers and it is considered as a hot topic of research. The research was mostly aimed towards the fabrication of a suitable scaffold with appropriate physical, chemical, biological and mechanical properties to guide the differentiation of stem cells to specific lineages of interest. This paper reviews the previous researches on effect of chemical structure, surface modification, topography and mechanical properties of scaffolds on stem cells behavior. Fabrication of scaffolds with desirable properties can open new strategies for cell therapy using tissue engineering technique.