Stem cells are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves and giving rise to differentiated and specialized cell subtypes. There are two general categories of stem cells, i.e., pluripotent stem cells capable of differentiation into any cell type in the human body and multipotent adult stem cells maintaining tissue homeostasis in postnatal life. Investigations in both these categories of stem cells have expanded our knowledge on human organogenesis and tissue regeneration and have suggested potential therapeutic functions of stem cells in regenerative medicine. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology a decade ago further revolutionized stem cell biology and has given rise to the translation of stem cell-based therapies. This chapter will summarize some of the exciting progress and challenges in the applications of iPSC-derived stem cells and adult stem cells and the potential of translational and clinical research of these stem cells in regenerative medicine.
Part of the book: Innovations in Cell Research and Therapy