Hydrogel as a bioactive material to regulate stem cell fate

Yung Hao Tsou, Joe Khoneisser, Ping Chun Huang, Xiaoyang Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


The encapsulation of stem cells in a hydrogel substrate provides a promising future in biomedical applications. However, communications between hydrogels and stem cells is complicated; various factors such as porosity, different polymer types, stiffness, compatibility and degradation will lead to stem cell survival or death. Hydrogels mimic the three-dimensional extracellular matrix to provide a friendly environment for stem cells. On the other hand, stem cells can sense the surroundings to make the next progression, stretching out, proliferating or just to remain. As such, understanding the correlation between stem cells and hydrogels is crucial. In this Review, we first discuss the varying types of the hydrogels and stem cells, which are most commonly used in the biomedical fields and further investigate how hydrogels interact with stem cells from the perspective of their biomedical application, while providing insights into the design and development of hydrogels for drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine purpose. In addition, we compare the results such as stiffness, degradation time and pore size as well as peptide types of hydrogels from respected journals.We also discussed most recently magnificent materials and their effects to regulate stem cell fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-55
Number of pages17
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Biomaterial
  • Hydrogel
  • Stem cell


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrogel as a bioactive material to regulate stem cell fate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this