Over the past few decades, a variety of different reagents for stem cell maintenance and differentiation have been commercialized. These reagents share a common goal in facilitating the manufacture of products suitable for cell therapy whilst reducing the amount of non-defined components. Lessons from developmental biology have identified signalling molecules that can guide the differentiation process in vitro, but less attention has been paid to the extra-cellular matrix used. With the introduction of more biologically relevant and defined matrices, that better mimic specific cell niches, researchers now have powerful resources to fine-tune their in vitro differentiation systems, that may allow the manufacture of therapeutically relevant cell types. In this review article, we revisit the basics of the extracellular matrix, and explore the important role of the cell-matrix interaction. We focus on laminin proteins since they help to maintain pluripotency and drive cell fate specification.
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Early online date||21 May 2018|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2018|