Insight on stem cell preconditioning and instructive biomaterials to enhance cell adhesion, retention, and engraftment for tissue repair

Muhammad Shafiq, Youngmee Jung, Soo Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Stem cells are a promising solution for the treatment of a variety of diseases. However, the limited survival and engraftment of transplanted cells due to a hostile ischemic environment is a bottleneck for effective utilization and commercialization. Within this environment, the majority of transplanted cells undergo apoptosis prior to participating in lineage differentiation and cellular integration. Therefore, in order to maximize the clinical utility of stem/progenitor cells, strategies must be employed to increase their adhesion, retention, and engraftment in vivo. Here, we reviewed key strategies that are being adopted to enhance the survival, retention, and engraftment of transplanted stem cells through the manipulation of both the stem cells and the surrounding environment. We describe how preconditioning of cells or cell manipulations strategies can enhance stem cell survival and engraftment after transplantation. We also discuss how biomaterials can enhance the function of stem cells for effective tissue regeneration. Biomaterials can incorporate or mimic extracellular function (ECM) function and enhance survival or differentiation of transplanted cells in vivo. Biomaterials can also promote angiogenesis, enhance engraftment and differentiation, and accelerate electromechanical integration of transplanted stem cells. Insight gained from this review may direct the development of future investigations and clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-115
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1



  • Cell survival and engraftment
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics

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