Special Issue "Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling"

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Virginie Sottile
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2. School of Medicine, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Interests: stem cell biology; cell differentiation and development; biomaterials for tissue repair; regenerative medicine; non-invasive cell monitoring; tissue engineering and modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will look at the interface between the emerging and fast-evolving fields of biomimetic materials and regenerative medicine. Among the subjects covered, papers could present novel synthetic or natural materials with the potential to enhance stem cell-based approaches for tissue modelling, engineering, or repair. Evidence from both in vitro and in vivo studies is welcome, including but not limited to 3D cell and tissue modelling, cell–material interactions, and innovative imaging approaches. Stem cell models considered can include human, animal, embryonic, tissue-derived, and pluripotent or progenitor-like cells, and may also extend to cancer stem cells if related to a biological outcome.

Dr. Virginie Sottile
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomimetics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • biomimetic and bioinspired materials
  • regenerative medicine
  • stem cells
  • tissue engineering and modelling
  • 3D cell culture and imaging

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Fibrillar Collagen Type I Participates in the Survival and Aggregation of Primary Hepatocytes Cultured on Soft Hydrogels
Biomimetics 2020, 5(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5020030 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2036
Liver is an essential organ that carries out multiple functions such as glycogen storage, the synthesis of plasma proteins, and the detoxification of xenobiotics. Hepatocytes are the parenchyma that sustain almost all the functions supported by this organ. Hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells respond [...] Read more.
Liver is an essential organ that carries out multiple functions such as glycogen storage, the synthesis of plasma proteins, and the detoxification of xenobiotics. Hepatocytes are the parenchyma that sustain almost all the functions supported by this organ. Hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells respond to the mechanical alterations that occur in the extracellular matrix (ECM) caused by organogenesis and regenerating processes. Rearrangements of the ECM modify the composition and mechanical properties that result in specific dedifferentiation programs inside the hepatic cells. Quiescent hepatocytes are embedded in the soft ECM, which contains an important concentration of fibrillar collagens in combination with a basement membrane-associated matrix (BM). This work aims to evaluate the role of fibrillar collagens and BM on actin cytoskeleton organization and the function of rat primary hepatocytes cultured on soft elastic polyacrylamide hydrogels (PAA HGs). We used rat tail collagen type I and Matrigel® as references of fibrillar collagens and BM respectively and mixed different percentages of collagen type I in combination with BM. We also used peptides obtained from decellularized liver matrices (dECM). Remarkably, hepatocytes showed a poor adhesion in the absence of collagen on soft PAA HGs. We demonstrated that collagen type I inhibited apoptosis and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) in primary hepatocytes cultured on soft hydrogels. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) was not able to rescue cell viability in conjugated BM but affected cell aggregation in soft PAA HGs conjugated with combinations of different proportions of collagen and BM. Interestingly, actin cytoskeleton was localized and preserved close to plasma membrane (cortical actin) and proximal to intercellular ducts (canaliculi-like structures) in soft conditions; however, albumin protein expression was not preserved, even though primary hepatocytes did not remodel their actin cytoskeleton significantly in soft conditions. This investigation highlights the important role of fibrillar collagens on soft hydrogels for the maintenance of survival and aggregation of the hepatocytes. Data suggest evaluating the conditions that allow the establishment of optimal biomimetic environments for physiology and cell biology studies, where the phenotype of primary cells may be preserved for longer periods of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling)
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