Date: 24 Jan 2007

Molecular imaging is indispensable for the development of stem cell-based myocardial regenerative therapy

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Stem cells have the potential to proliferate, self-renew and differentiate into various organ-specific cell types. They can be of either human or non-human origin, and they can be classified according to (a) their developmental stage, as embryonic, fetal or adult; (b) their potential to differentiate into one or more specific types of mature cell, as totipotent, pluripotent or multipotent; and (c) the tissue of origin as haematopoietic, mesenchymal, skeletal or neural. Embryonic stem cells are totipotent and have the potential to become all specialized cell types, whereas adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found in differentiated tissue with the potential to renew themselves and to differentiate to yield organ-specific tissues. The remarkable proliferative and differentiation capacity of stem cells has raised the expectation of an almost unlimited supply of specific cell types. It has been therefore hypothesized that stem cells could differentiate into cardiomyocytes. In their ...

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