Web Date: May 19, 2014
Self-Assembling Molecule Nurtures Stem Cells
Our cells live in a carbohydrate jungle. In particular, stem cells interact with a forest full of sugars, which trigger how they grow and differentiate. But when scientists grow stem cells in the lab, the culture medium provides a vastly different environment. To replicate the cells’ native surroundings, researchers constructed a sugar-decorated molecule that self-assembles into a hydrogel that mimics the extracellular matrix (Bioconjugate Chem. 2014, DOI:
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