This article studies the adhesion, growth and differentiation of stem cells on carbon nanotube matrices. Glass coverslips were coated with multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) thin films using layer-by-layer self-assembling techniques. Pluripotent P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma stem cells were seeded onto uncoated or MWNT-coated glass coverslips and either maintained in an undifferentiated state or induced to differentiate by the addition of retinoic acid. The authors found that cell adhesion was increased on the MWNT-coated glass surfaces, and that the expression patterns of some differentiation markers were altered in cells grown on MWNTs. The results suggest that MWNTs will be useful in directing pluripotent stem cell differentiation for tissue engineering purposes.