Human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation on self-assembled monolayers presenting different surface chemistries

Jennifer E. Phillips, Timothy A. Petrie, Francis P. Creighton, Andrés J. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have tremendous potential as a cell source for regenerative medicine due to their capacity for differentiation into a wide range of connective tissue cell types. Although significant progress has been made in the identification of defined growth factor conditions to induce lineage commitment, the effect of underlying biomaterial properties on functional differentiation is far less understood. Here we conduct a systematic assessment of the role for surface chemistry on cell growth, morphology, gene expression and function during hMSC commitment along osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic lineages. Using self-assembled monolayers of ω-functionalized alkanethiols on gold as model substrates, we demonstrate that biomaterial surface chemistry differentially modulates hMSC differentiation in a lineage-dependent manner. These results highlight the importance of initial biomaterial surface chemistry on long-term functional differentiation of adult stem cells, and suggest that surface properties are a critical parameter that must be considered in the design of biomaterials for stem cell-based regenerative medicine strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipogenesis
  • Chrondrogenesis
  • Fibronectin
  • Human mesenchymal stem cell
  • Osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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