Research Press Release

Reprogramming cells by placing them on groovesAdd to my bookmarks

Nature Materials

October 21, 2013

Surfaces with aligned features, such as microgrooves, can induce the reprogramming of non-germ cells into an embryonic-like state from which they can become any cell type, reports a study published online this week in Nature Materials. Such surface-mediated regulation of cell reprogramming offers ways to improve reprogramming efficiency, advance stem-cell technologies and optimize biomaterials for cell-engineering applications.

Reprogramming somatic, or non-germ, cells into induced pluripotent stem cells is routinely accomplished by using a cocktail of small molecules that induce the expression of a few proteins that control the transcription of pluripotency genes.

Song Li and colleagues demonstrate that reprogramming can be achieved more efficiently by culturing the cells on cell-adhesive substrates with aligned microgrooves or nanofibres, and that these can substitute for the effects of potent small-molecule modifiers of gene expression. The researchers also show that the micro- and nanopatterned substrates increase the expression of pluripotency genes by inducing the cells to acquire an elongated shape, which in turn alters the levels of specific chemical markers in DNA-packaging proteins.

DOI:10.1038/nmat3777 | Original article

Research highlights

PrivacyMark System