Deepa Bhartiya

Deepa Bhartiya is currently head of Stem Cell Biology Department at National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai, India. Her group has derived two well characterized human embryonic stem cell lines: KIND1 and KIND2. Pre-clinical evaluation of safety, efficacy and feasibility of pancreatic and tripotent cardiac progenitors obtained by directed differentiation are ongoing in animal models. Besides the group, she is also interested in a unique population of pluripotent stem cells which exist in adult body tissues termed very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs). VSELs have been studied in cord blood, bone marrow and mammalian gonads resulting in several publications.

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Stem cells have generated a lot of excitement among the researchers, clinicians and the public alike. Various types of stem cells are being evaluated for their regenerative potential. Marginal benefit resulting by transplanting autologus stem cells (deemed to be absolutely safe) in various clinical conditions has been proposed to be a growth factor effect rather than true regeneration. In contrast, various pre-clinical studies have been undertaken, using differentiated cells from embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells have shown promise, functional improvement and no signs of teratoma formation. The scientists are not in a rush to reach the clinic but a handful of clinical studies have shown promise. This book is a collection of studies/reviews, beginning with an introduction to the pluripotent stem cells and covering various aspects like derivation, differentiation, ethics, etc., and hence would provide insight into the recent standing on the pluripotent stem cells biology. The chapters have been categorized into three sections, covering subjects ranging from the generation of pluripotent stem cells and various means of their derivation from embryonic as well as adult tissues, the mechanistic understanding of pluripotency and narrating the potential therapeutic implications of these in vitro generated cells in various diseases, in addition to the associated pros and cons in the same.

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