We give a bordism-theoretic characterization of those closed almost contact (2q+1)-manifolds (with q≥2) that admit a Stein fillable contact structure. Our method is to apply Eliashberg's h-principle for Stein manifolds in the setting of Kreck's modified surgery. As an application, we show that any simply connected almost contact 7-manifold with torsion-free second homotopy group is Stein fillable. We also discuss the Stein fillability of exotic spheres and examine subcritical Stein fillability.
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