Cellular functions within living organisms are extremely complex processes and researchers have been using nanopatterned substrates to control and monitor cellular functions in order to design and fabricate nanoscale biotechnological systems. Especially stem cell research has benefitted from nanopatterned surfaces to maintains stem cells' long-term viability and phenotype during experiments. Nevertheless, despite the intense scientific efforts to achieve precise control of stem cell fates with engineered nanopatterned substrates, reliable and cost effective control of stem cell behavior remains a challenge.
Most of the tissues and organs in the human body, with their distinct three-dimensional structures, require support – scaffold/substrate, template, and artificial extracellular matrix or niche – for their formation from diverse cells.
Researchers have now fabricated biomimetic substrates that are similar to that of the native extracellular matrix (ECM) in the epidermis which assists proliferation, differentiation, and biosynthesis of the keratinocyte (i.e. human outer skin) cells. "