In the field of material design
for regenerative medicine, there is a need for tools that can drive cell fate,
in order to better understand and control the biological responses.
Carbohydrates play fundamental
roles in a plethora of biological processes  including cellular trafficking,
adhesion and migration, immunological responses, disease initiation and
progression. Moreover, in biological systems, many carbohydrate-protein
interactions occur at cellular interfaces.
Given the relevant role played
by carbohydrates, they appear as invaluable tools for the design of bioactivated
materials for regenerative medicine applications. In fact, when exposed at the material-cell
interface, they might be able to direct and control cell fate . Different conjugation
techniques for material surface
covalent functionalization with specific glycan structures will be presented.
The results of the interaction between neoglycosylated materials and different
cell lines will be outlined, highlighting how glycans do drive their behaviour.
For example, neoglucosylated collagen matrices drive F11 neuroblastoma cells to
differentiation into active neurons, while different sialylated collagen
matrices  are able to modulate gene expression of mMSC toward chondrogenesis
or osteogenesis .
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C.R. Chem. Biol. 2014, 21, 16-37.
 Russo, L.; Cipolla, L. (2016). Glycomics: new challenges
and opportunities in regenerative medicine. Chemistry,
Eur. J. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201602156.
 Russo, L.;
Sgambato, A.; Lecchi, M.; Pastori, V.; Raspanti, M.; Natalello, A.; Doglia,
S.M.; Nicotra, F.; Cipolla, L. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2014, 5, 261-5.
 Sgambato, A.; Russo, L.; Montesi, M.; Panseri,
S.; Marcacci, M.; Caravà, E.; Raspanti, M.; Cipolla, L. ACS Appl. Mater.
Interfaces, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2016, 8, 14952–14957.
We gratefully acknowledge FA
2015 and the European Community's
programme under Grant Agreement number: 642028 —H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014 “NABBA”for financial support.