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Regenerative medicine is aimed at restoring normal tissue function and can benefit from the application of tissue engineering and nano-therapeutics. In order for regenerative therapies to be effective, the spatiotemporal integration of tissue engineered scaffolds by the native tissue, and the binding/release of therapeutic payloads by nano-materials, must be tightly controlled at the nanoscale in order to direct cell fate. However, due to a lack of insight regarding cell-material interactions at the nanoscale and subsequent downstream signaling, the clinical translation of many regenerative therapies is limited due to poor material integration, rapid clearance and complications such as graft-versus-host disease. This review paper is intended to outline our current understanding of cell-material interactions with the aim of highlighting potential areas for knowledge advancement or application in the field of regenerative medicine. This is achieved by reviewing the nanoscale organization of key cell surface receptors, the current techniques used to control the presentation of cell-interactive molecules on material surfaces, as well as the most advanced techniques for characterizing the interactions that occur between cell surface receptors and materials intended for use in regenerative medicine.

Original publication




Journal article


Regen Eng Transl Med

Publication Date





553 - 547


Bio-mimicry, bio-instructive, biomaterials, cell adhesion, functionalization, integrins, nanoscale ligand spacing, receptor clustering