, Volume 394, Issue 6, pp 985-997
Date: 31 Jul 2009

The possible use of stem cells in regenerative medicine: dream or reality?

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Abstract

Stem cells are one of the most fascinating areas in regenerative medicine today. They play a crucial role in the development and regeneration of human life and are defined as cells that continuously reproduce themselves while maintaining the ability to differentiate into various cell types. Stem cells are found at all developmental stages, from embryonic stem cells that differentiate into all cell types found in the human body to adult stem cells that are responsible for tissue regeneration. The general opinion postulates that clinical therapies based on the properties of stem cells may have the potential to change the treatment of degenerative diseases or important traumatic injuries in the “near” future. We here briefly review the literature in particularly for the liver, heart, kidney, cartilage, and bone regeneration.