Stem cells and nanomaterials are currently two of the most promising technologies for tissue regeneration and the treatment of degenerative disease. Because of their ability to self-renew and differentiate into any cell type, stem cells offer the potential to regrow all types of damaged or degenerated tissues that are unrepairable by currently available treatment methods. Nanomaterials may prove to be ideal growth substrates for tissue regeneration as well as an ideal delivery vehicle for the diagnostic markers, growth factors, and drugs that are required to promote tissue regeneration and treat degenerative disease. Despite their great potential, stem cell behaviors such as proliferation and differentiation must be tightly regulated in order for this technology to be practical in a clinical setting. Experimental evidence has shown that the interactions of nanomaterials with stem cells can have a significant effect on many types of stem cell behaviors. In addition, nanomaterials can be used to provide targeted delivery of various agents in a controlled manner that allows for regulation of the chemical environment. Regulation of the chemical environment is critical for controlled guidance of stem cell behavior and for the treatment of degenerative disease. A precise understanding of the interactions between stem cells and nanomaterials is an important step toward unlocking the great potential of these two technologies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)