The Need to Study, Mimic, and Target Stem Cell Niches

Ajaykumar Vishwakarma*, Jeroen Rouwkema, Peter Anthony Jones, Jeffrey M. Karp

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)


    Despite important advances in tissue repair and regeneration over the past few decades, complete functional repair of damaged or diseased human tissues has remained elusive. Recent discoveries in stem cell niche molecular biology and biomaterials engineering may hold the key to true regeneration. Such efforts can be divided into three main approaches: (1) recruiting endogenous repair mechanisms in vivo, (2) administering cells in vivo, and (3) generating tissues/organs ex vivo. Central to these approaches is an understanding of stem cell niche molecules and signaling mechanisms, including cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. To better study these mechanisms, scientific research has focused on the creation of a synthetic or artificial niche, a two- or three-dimensional microenvironment, constituted by the integration of mechanical and chemical cues such as extracellular matrix molecules and growth factors. This book is an attempt to comprehensively review our current understanding of the biology of the stem cell niche. It covers the elements that regulate stem cell behavior and highlights a variety of tools and techniques available in engineering and materials science for modeling synthetic stem cell niches in vivo or enhancing and directing stem cell fate in vitro. Finally, it describes stem cell niche bioengineering strategies and current advances in each tissue type.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBiology and Engineering of Stem Cell Niches
    EditorsAjaykumar Vishwakarma, Jeffrey M. Karp
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128027561
    ISBN (Print)9780128027349
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2017


    • Cell-cell interaction
    • Cell-matrix interaction
    • Extracellular matrix
    • Microenvironment
    • Stem cell niche
    • Tissue regeneration
    • Tissue repair


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Need to Study, Mimic, and Target Stem Cell Niches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this