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Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are capable of probing and responding to the mechanical properties of their substrate. Although most biological and synthetic matrices are viscoelastic materials, previous studies have primarily focused upon substrate compressive modulus (rigidity), neglecting the relative contributions that the storage (elastic) and(More)
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are capable of self-renewal and differentiation along the osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic lineages and have potential applications in a range of therapies. MSCs can be cultured as monolayers on tissue culture plastic, but there are indications that they lose cell-specific properties with time in vitro and so poorly(More)
Human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) have generated significant interest due to their potential use in clinical applications. hMSCs are present at low frequency in vivo, but after isolation can be expanded considerably, generating clinically useful numbers of cells. In this study, we demonstrate the use of a defined embryonic stem cell expansion medium,(More)
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have attracted great interest in recent years for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications due to their ease of isolation and multipotent differentiation capacity. In the past, MSC research has focussed on the effects of soluble cues, such as growth factors and cytokines; however, there is now increasing(More)
Cell behaviours within tissues are influenced by a broad array of physical and biochemical microenvironmental factors. Whilst 'stiffness' is a recognised physical property of substrates and tissue microenvironments that influences many cellular behaviours, tissues and their extracellular matrices are not purely rigid but 'viscoelastic' materials, composed(More)
Integrins provide the primary link between mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), with different integrin pairs having specificity for different ECM molecules or peptide sequences contained within them. It is widely acknowledged that the type of ECM present can influence MSC differentiation; however, it is yet to be(More)
Unlocking the clinical potential of stem cell based therapies requires firstly elucidation of the biological mechanisms which direct stem cell fate decisions and thereafter, technical advances which allow these processes to be driven in a fully defined culture environment. Strategies for the generation of defined surfaces for human embryonic stem cell(More)
In recent years there has been a growing interest in culturing adherent cells using three-dimensional (3D) techniques, rather than more conventional 2D culture methods. This interest emerges from the realization that growing cells on plastic surfaces cannot truly re-create 3D in vivo conditions and therefore might be limiting the cells' potential. In(More)
As strategies for manipulating cellular behaviour in vitro and in vivo become more sophisticated, synthetic biomaterial substrates capable of reproducing critical biochemical and biophysical properties (or cues) of tissue micro-environments will be required. Cytoskeletal tension has been shown to be highly deterministic of cell fate decisions, yet few(More)
Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is one of the leading causes of lower back pain and a major health problem worldwide. Current surgical treatments include excision or immobilisation, with neither approach resulting in the repair of the degenerative disc. As such, a tissue engineering-based approach in which stem cells, coupled with an advanced(More)