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World J Stem Cells. Jan 26, 2014; 6(1): 11-23
Published online Jan 26, 2014. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v6.i1.11
Neural differentiation from pluripotent stem cells: The role of natural and synthetic extracellular matrix
Yan Li, Meimei Liu, Yuanwei Yan, Shang-Tian Yang
Yan Li, Yuanwei Yan, Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States
Meimei Liu, Shang-Tian Yang, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States
Author contributions: Li Y prepared the original draft; Liu M and Yan Y contributed to writing and editing some sections in the manuscript; Yang ST revised and finalized the manuscript.
Supported by FSU start up fund and FSU Research Foundation GAP award; partial support from National Science Foundation, No.1342192
Correspondence to: Shang-Tian Yang, Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, 140 West 19th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, United States.
Telephone: +1-614-2926611 Fax +1-614-2923769
Received: October 1, 2013
Revised: October 23, 2013
Accepted: November 2, 2013
Published online: January 26, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Neural cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and neural progenitor cells, emerge as an unlimited and physiologically relevant cell source for drug screening, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine. Natural and synthetic extracellular matrices play an important role in regulating neural differentiation, cell migration, and the derived neural cell maturation. Recent advances in neural differentiation of hPSCs on extracellular matrices in 2-D and 3-D systems are reviewed in this paper. The immediate applications of the derived neural cells in drug screening and disease modeling are also discussed.