Sigma Xi Publications



American Scientist

Cell Supporters: Scaffolds help turn stem cells into new bone, nerves, and cartilage

Structures made from biomaterials—such as ceramics, plastics, and complex carbohydrates—can provide a variety of mechanical, chemical, and even electrical cues that respond to external stimuli and support tissue repair. Such scaffolds can use seeded stem cells or support the growth of the body’s own cells. A fibrous polymer scaffold (cover, dark blue) signals cells to grow and differentiate. Human mesenchymal stem cells (green) are growing along these fibers, dotted with their nuclei (bright blue circles). In “Structural
Support for Damaged Tissue Repair
” (pages 298–305), Treena Livingston Arinzeh, Jennifer Moy, and Gloria Portocarrero Huang discuss how their development of such scaffolds is helping them find new ways to regenerate bone, cartilage, and nerve tissue and could someday help patients with musculoskeletal injuries move better.

September-October 2017

Sigma Xi Publications