Direct Conversion of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Osteoblasts With a Small Molecule

Heemin Kang, Yu Ru V. Shih, Shyni Varghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), which exhibit unlimited self-renewal ability and can differentiate into all cell types in the human body, are a promising cell source for cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine. Small molecules hold great potential in the derivation of tissue-specific cells from hPSCs owing to their cost-effectiveness and scalability. Here, we describe a protocol for deriving osteoblasts from hPSCs by using a single, natural small molecule: adenosine. This simple and effective experimental protocol allows one to obtain large numbers of osteoblasts or osteoprogenitor cells, with the ability to form functional bone tissues, from hPSCs, including human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. This protocol could potentially enable studies of tissue regeneration and skeletal diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1F.21.1-1F.21.6
JournalCurrent protocols in stem cell biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • adenosine
  • human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)
  • human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)
  • osteogenic differentiation
  • small molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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