Tailor-made biomaterials for human induced pluripotent stem cells: significance of physical parameters in self-renewal, differentiation and reprogramming
Human Induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can be generated from different somatic cell types through ectopic expression of different sets of transcription factors or small molecules. hiPSCs acquire all the features of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) including pluripotency and can thus give rise to any cell type of the body. Patient-derived hiPSCs may thus be an ideal source for studying diseases in vitro and for treating different disorders in the clinic in future. However, before clinical application of the hiPSC technology different hurdles have to be overcome. Within this proposal we aim to improve (1) hiPSC generation, (2) hiPSC cultivation/ self-renewal and (3) hiPSC differentiation using novel tailor-made biomaterials that mimic the extracellular matrix. By combining the expertise in stem cell-material interactions, biomaterials development and stem cell biophysics at KIT with the competence of hiPSC generation, culture and differentiation at Heidelberg University we think that our results might be of great value in regenerative medicine in future.