Directing differentiation

Many strategies for regenerative medicine involve the implantation of cells (autologous or allogeneic) that can form new tissue and obtaining these cells with subsequent optimization of their function is thus a major area of research in itself. Patient-derived stem cells have great promise regarding personalized medicine, but we first need to establish protocols to direct them to differentiate into tissue-specific cells. This directing of differentiation can be achieved in many ways, among others stimulation with morphogens, gene therapy approaches and/or instructive biomaterials.