Topography: A Biophysical Approach to Direct the Fate of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering Applications

Xingli Cun, Leticia Hosta-Rigau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

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Tissue engineering is a promising strategy to treat tissue and organ loss or damage caused by injury or disease. During the past two decades, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have attracted a tremendous amount of interest in tissue engineering due to their multipotency and self-renewal ability. MSCs are also the most multipotent stem cells in the human adult body. However, the application of MSCs in tissue engineering is relatively limited because it is difficult to guide their differentiation toward a specific cell lineage by using traditional biochemical factors. Besides biochemical factors, the differentiation of MSCs also influenced by biophysical cues. To this end, much effort has been devoted to directing the cell lineage decisions of MSCs through adjusting the biophysical properties of biomaterials. The surface topography of the biomaterial-based scaffold can modulate the proliferation and differentiation of MSCs. Presently, the development of micro- and nano-fabrication techniques has made it possible to control the surface topography of the scaffold precisely. In this review, we highlight and discuss how the main topographical features (i.e., roughness, patterns, and porosity) are an efficient approach to control the fate of MSCs and the application of topography in tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2070
Issue number10
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biomaterials
  • Differentiation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Scaffolds
  • Tissue engineering
  • Topography

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