Concise review: Stem cell microenvironment on a chip: Current technologies for tissue engineering and stem cell biology

Do Yeun Park, Jaeho Lim, Joong Yull Park, Sang Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Stem cells have huge potential in many therapeutic areas. With conventional cell culture methods, however, it is difficult to achieve in vivo-like microenvironments in which a number of well-controlled stimuli are provided for growing highly sensitive stem cells. In contrast, microtechnology-based platforms offer advantages of high precision, controllability, scalability, and reproducibility, enabling imitation of the complex physiological context of in vivo. This capability may fill the gap between the present knowledge about stem cells and that required for clinical stem cell-based therapies. We reviewed the various types of microplatforms on which stem cell microenvironments are mimicked. We have assigned the various microplatforms to four categories based on their practical uses to assist stem cell biologists in using them for research. In particular, many examples are given of microplatforms used for the production of embryoid bodies and aggregates of stem cells in vitro. We also categorized microplatforms based on the types of factors controlling the behaviors of stem cells. Finally, we outline possible future directions for microplatform-based stem cell research, such as research leading to the production of well-defined environments for stem cells to be used in scaled-up systems or organs-on-a-chip, the regulation of induced pluripotent stem cells, and the study of the genetic states of stem cells on microplatforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1352-1368
Number of pages17
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov


  • Embryoid body
  • Microplatform
  • Organ regeneration
  • Stem cell behaviors
  • Stem cell fate
  • Stem cell microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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