Stem Cell Research

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Stem Cell Biology

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitor cells capable of differentiating into a wide variety of distinctive end-stage cell types, including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, endothelial cells and neuronal cells. In adults, their multipotency is of considerable importance for the regeneration of damaged or diseased mesenchymal tissues. The ability of MSCs to differentiate into a vast array of cell types, as well as their ease of manipulation in cell culture conditions, make them ideal candidates for the development of several therapeutic applications. Therefore, a thorough investigation of the regenerative potential of mesenchymal stem cells is necessary for the future of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Our laboratory focuses on the development of novel regenerative therapies by combining bioengineering strategies and stem cell biology, and aims to direct MSCs to specific lineages by utilizing 2- or 3-dimensional biomimetic microenvironments that share similar physical properties and bioactive ligands with native extracellular matrices. We have already designed peptide amphiphiles capable of triggering differentiation into osseous and cartilaginous tissues, and are currently working on the further development of extracellular matrix mimetic functional scaffolds, as well as the characterization of their impacts on the differentiation of MSCs.

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Selected publications:

Ceylan H, Kocabey S, Unal Gulsuner H, Balcik OS, Guler MO, Tekinay AB. Bone-like mineral nucleating peptide nanofibers induce differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells into mature osteoblasts, Biomacromolecules 2014; 15(7): 2407-2418.

Sever M, Mammadov B, Guler MO, Tekinay AB. Tenascin-C Mimetic Peptide Nanofibers Direct Stem Cell Differentiation to Osteogenic Lineage, Biomacromolecules 2014.