The need for more efficient and effective stem cell therapies and technologies is ever increasing on account of a general ageing worldwide population, leading to a number of competing techniques to provide an effective means for the surface engineering of biomaterial substrates, especially in the stem cell technologies arena. This chapter will introduce the role of laser material processing, particularly laser surface engineering, in the field of stem cell research and will show how laser material processing of polymers and metals can modulate the adhesion, growth and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Through CO2 laser surface engineering of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyamide 6,6 it will be shown that the modification of wettability and adhesion characteristics gave rise to an enhanced MSC adhesion and growth. Fibre laser welding of NiTi alloy is demonstrated as giving rise to an enhanced biocompatibility, augmenting MSC adhesion and growth. The efficacy of laser material processing as a means to produce optimized platforms to increase biological adhesion and growth has been shown as viable, indicating that laser material processing has the potential to have a large influence upon the future of biomaterial science and regenerative medicine.
- Surface engineering, laser, stem cells, bioengineering, adhesion