BioMediTech Research Groups

Adult Stem Cell Group

Group Leader: Associate Professor Susanna Miettinen


About Us

We are multidisciplinary research group combining expertise in cell biology, stem cell technology, engineering and medicine.

The objectives of our research projects are to increase knowledge on cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) behavior and differentiation and to use this knowledge to develop cell based and tissue engineered products for clinical use and as in vitro -models.

Research interests include cell characterization, bone, soft and vasculature tissue engineering combined with biomaterial studies as well as different methods to guide MSC differentiation, e.g. chemical, mechanical and electrical stimulation. Furthermore, we study the molecular mechanisms controlling MSC differentiation and the regulation of MSCs´ immunogenicity and immunomodulatory properties. In addition to MSCs, we are using endothelial cells, osteo- and chondroblasts and epithelial cells from urothelium and gynecological tissues for our research.

Ongoing translational and clinical projects (maxillofacial bone defects, incontinence and stroke) provide a strong link between basic cell biology, tissue engineering and patient care. Clinical projects are done in close collaboration with Regea Cell and Tissue Center and clinicians.

Research interests and expertise

Research interests:

  • MSC differentiation and characterization
  • Cell and tissue engineering based therapies: autologous and allogenic transplants
    • Large maxillofacial bone defects
    • Stroke
    • Incontinence
  • Effect of donor derived factors on MSC characteristics
  • Molecular mechanisms of cell differentiation
  • MSC immunogenicity and immunomodulation
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • “Soft” tissue engineering
    • Adipose tissue
    • Regeneration of urothelium and vaginal epithelium
    • Vasculature
    • Development of therapies for incontinence


  • Basic biology of human MSCs
  • Biomaterials and tissue engineering studies using MSCs and other tissue derived progenitor cells
  • Cell differentiation: osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic
  • Translational studies and regulation of advanced therapy medicinal products


  • Development of tissue engineered treatments for large maxillofacial bone defects and urinary incontinence
  • National manufacturing license issued by FIMEA for use of autologous adipose stem cells and biomaterials for large maxillofacial bone defects
  • Partner in EU-Horizon2020 project RESSTORE on use of allogenic adipose derived MSCs for stroke
  • Centre of Excellence in multi-tissue modeling (Academy of Finland, 2018-2025)


  • Human mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue, bone marrow and dental tissues, osteo- and chondroblasts, endothelial cells, epithelial cells and fibroblasts
  • Cellular and molecular biology methods
  • Immunocytochemistry, Western blot, Fluorescence microscopy, confocal imaging, flow cytometry
  • CellTech Laboratories
  • Operation in Arvo cleanroom facilities in collaboration with Regea Cell and Tissue Center

Collaboration offer and requests

We are interested in participating into highly multidisciplinary collaborative research projects both nationally and internationally. In addition, clinical and translational projects utilizing MSCs or other human progenitor cells are welcome.

Contact group leader Associate Professor Susanna Miettinen, susanna.miettinen(at)

Major Publications

  1. Sayyar S, Björninen M, Haimi S, Miettinen S, Gilmore K, Grijpma D, Wallace G. UV-Crosslinkable Graphene/ poly (trimethylene carbonate) Composites for 3D Printing of Electrically Conductive Scaffolds. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Nov 23;8(46):31916-31925.
  2. Vanhatupa S, Ojansivu M, Autio R, Juntunen M, Miettinen S. Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Induces Donor-Dependent Osteogenic and Adipogenic Differentiation in Human Adipose Stem Cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Dec;4(12):1391-402.
  3. Ojansivu M, Vanhatupa S, Björkvik L, Häkkänen H, Kellomäki M, Autio R, Ihalainen JA, Hupa L, Miettinen S. Bioactive Glass Ions as Strong Enhancers of Osteogenic Differentiation in Human Adipose Stem Cells. Acta Biomater. 2015 Jul 15;21:190-203.
  4. Kuismanen K, Sartoneva R, Haimi S, Mannerström B, Tomas E, Miettinen S, Nieminen K. Autologous adipose stem cells in treatment of female stress urinary incontinence; results of a pilot study. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Aug;3(8):936-41.
  5. Sándor GKB., Thesleff T, Numminen J, Lehtimäki K, Niskakangas T, Mannerström B, Miettinen S, Seppänen R, Rautiainen M, Öhman J. Adipose stem cells used to reconstruct 13 cases with cranio-maxillofacial hard-tissue defects. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Apr;3(4):530-40.
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