Stem cells are commonly classified based on the developmental stage from which they are isolated, although this has been a source of debate amongst stem cell scientists. A common approach classi- fies stem cells into three different groupings: Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs), Umbilical Cord Stem Cells (UCBSCs) and Adult Stem Cells (ASCs), which include stem cells from bone marrow (BM), fat tissue (FT), engineered induced pluripotent (IP) and peripheral blood (PB).
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
Recently, stem cell biology has become an interesting topic, especially in the context of treating diseases and injuries using transplantation therapy. Several varieties of human stem cells have been isolated and identified in vivo and in vitro. Ideally, stem cells for regenerative medical application should be found in abundant quantities, harvestable in a minimally invasive procedure, then safely and effectively transplanted to either an autologous or allogenic host. The two main groups of stem cells, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, have been expanded to include perinatal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells from perinatal tissue may be particularly useful in the clinic for autologous transplantation for fetuses and newborns, and after banking in later stages of life, as well as for in utero transplantation in case of genetic disorders.
The placenta is generally recognized for important functions such as nutrition, respiration and excretion as well as maintenance of fetomaternal tolerance. The components of this organ include the fetal membranes, umbilical cord and trophoblast. In recent years, besides the use of fragments of the entire amniotic membrane (AM) as a surgical material [1,2], much attention has been given to the different cell types that can be isolated from the placenta. Progress in understanding the biology and properties of these cells has encour-aged researchers to explore their potential effects in animal models of different diseases, in the hope of future clinical applications.
Placenta has a long history of use for treating burns and wounds. It is a rich source of collagen and other extra- cellular matrix proteins, tissue reparative growth factors, and stem cells, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Recent data show its therapeutic potential for orthopaedic sports medicine indications.
Amniotic stem cells (ASCs) can develop into many different types of tissues such as skin, cartilage, cardiac, nerves, muscle, and bone. Consequently, ASCs have been implicated to provide many potential medical applications, especially in organ and joint regeneration. ASCs can be extracted from the amniotic sac by a process called amniocentesis. This process can occur without harming the developing fetus, which is very important to emphasize because of the negative stigma around embryonic derived stem cells. It is believed due to media sensationalizing that all stem cells are derived from killing or deconstructing embryos, and this is simply no longer the case. Many types of stem cells have been identified that can be isolated without harming an embryo such as hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow, unbiblical chords or even peripheral blood or stem cells isolated from adipose tissues.
Degenerative disc disease may cause severe low-back pain, a large public health problem with significant economic and life quality impact. Chronic cases often require surgery, which may lead to biomechanical problems and accelerated degeneration of the adjacent segments. Cell-based therapies may circumvent these problems and have exhibited encouraging results in vitro and in animal studies. We designed a pilot study to assess feasibility and safety and to obtain early indications on efficacy of treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in humans.
The International Placenta Stem Cell Society (IPLASS) was founded in June 2010. Its goal is to serve as a network for advancing research and clinical applications of stem/progenitor cells isolated from human term placental tissues, including the amnio-chorionic fetal membranes and Wharton’s jelly. The commitment of the Society to champion placenta as a stem cell source was realized with the inaugural meeting of IPLASS held in Brescia, Italy, in October 2010.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an irreversible and demyelinating disease of the brain and spinal cord that causes significant disability in young people. However, therapeutic options to effectively stop the pathological progression of MS are limited. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) in the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
The present review examines in the first place various kinds of naturally occurring stem cells, including germ cells and embryonic stem cells (ES cells), as well as haemopoietic stem cells, which are historically the first to be used for medical treatment. Attention is also given to cancer stem cells, as a source of perseverant malignant disease. The main interest is now represented by the variety of somatic cells, which can be re-programmed to different types of differentiated cells, the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC’s).