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Biomedical inspired surface modification

  Progress in the field of biomedical engineering solutions can effectively combine materials science with alive cells. Surface treatments are effectively done by plasma PVD and CVD techniques to shape the surface and the research activity which is targeted to form a biomimetic nanotopography and surface chemistry. There are still numerous barriers limiting the use of some solutions thus recently popular are materials mimicking the target tissue [1÷3]. Controlling the biological environment through suitable scaffold properties is an essential task for the tissue engineering. Stem cells are the subject of great interest due to their biological properties and clinical application and they are defined to self-renew and produce specialized progeny [4÷6]. The challenge is to develop novel biomaterials which will enhance the new culture-based approaches. Each cell, which grows and matures, has its own niche which has a spatial structure of cells and an extracellular matrix. It forms a microenvironment that keeps the cells alive and gives signals to the main cell proliferation, maturation, or to self-renewal. The stem cell niche refers to an anatomical and functional structure, including cellular and extracellular components, local and systemic factors that are integrated to regulate the stem cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and localization [7÷9]. In 1978, Schofield proposed the concept of "stem cell niche" in studies of the haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) [10]. Since then, this hypothesis has been validated by a number of studies and the in vivo evidence of the existence of stem cell niche was first provided in studies using invertebrate models [11] and in the Drosophila germline stem cells [12]. The main focus was to reconstruct the microenvironment on the surface with the shape of niches. Nevertheless, the modified materials are still elastically deformable. Optical transparency, electrical insulation, semi-perm[...]

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