Dip Pen Nanolithography® Provides for the Critical Definition of the Environment to Control Human Adult Stem Cell Populations
University of Liverpool, UK
Keywords: Dip Pen Nanolithography, DPN, Chemically Nanopatterned Interfaces
Abstract:Enough is known about stem cells (human adult and embryonic) relating to their therapeutic potential and how they might be applied in future health care practices to allow us to seriously consider revolutionizing healthcare by taking mankind way from repair by replacement and augmentation towards repair by the regeneration of the patients own tissues and organs. That said however, it is clearly evident from the dearth of recognized and validated current clinical therapies and further from the fundamental knowledge base of the published research for both human adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, that we consider we stand possibly on either side of the brink of exciting life changing breakthroughs in these respects, but that some important breakthroughs are still required. One of the crucial components required to realize the potential of stem cells sooner rather than later is the definition of what is required to control and direct stem cells both in vitro and in vivo. Without definition and a fundamental knowledge of what is critically required to control stem cells, predictable, robust, and successful clinical therapies will be not be realized for many medical conditions and success will be sporadic and limited by random good fortune in specific applications. Functional living tissue regeneration and substrate definition in the nanoscale by a technique as precise as dip pen nanolithography® (DPN®) are many orders of magnitude apart in terms of scale; but tissues are formed by a collective of individual cells all doing their respective “part” for the multicellular organism, within which cells communicate with each other and their environment at the molecular level and certainly within the nanoscale. The hypothesis has been proven that dip pen nanolithography® (DPN®) can be used to present environments that are predetermined and then precisely defined in the nanoscale, but then cover large areas at high definition to provide an environment suitable for the guidance and control of stem cells for them to develop into functional phenotypically defined populations of cells, that can be used in vitro for research purposes and high throughput screening or more crucially at a personal level as someone that may require such treatments in the future more directly for regenerative approaches to healthcare and homeostasis.