Historical Perspectives

  • Scott M. Deeney
  • Timothy M. Crombleholme
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)


Stem cells are a unique cell type which possesses the characteristics of clonality, proliferative capacity, and plasticity. Embryonic and adult stem cells have been objects of intense study, yet each has demonstrated limitations. Fetal stem cells are a relatively newly described category of stem cells with qualities intermediate between embryonic and adult stem cells. Fetal stem cells can be obtained from the tissues of the fetus itself or from the extra-embryonic products of conception including the amniotic fluid and placenta. Many types of fetal stem cells have been isolated, each with characteristics unique to their source and level of fetal development. Some fetal stem cells are already being used in therapeutic applications, and others are in various stages of animal and human trials. The current trajectory of fetal stem cell research, and its relation to embryonic and adult stem cell research, can be more fully appreciated in the context of the historical progress in this area.


Fetus Fetal research Tissue engineering Stem cells Fetal stem cells Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cells Review History Historical article 



Amniotic epithelial cell


Amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cell


Amniotic fluid stem cell


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Amniotic mesenchymal stem cell


Acute tubular necrosis


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia


Chorionic mesenchymal stromal cell


Endothelial progenitor cell


Embryonic stem cell


Human leukocyte antigen


Hematopoietic stem cell


Induced pluripotent cell


Myocardial infarction


Multilineage stem cell


Mesenchymal stem cell


Pregnancy-associated progenitor cell




Umbilical cord blood


Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell


Very small embryonic-like stem cell


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Laboratory for Fetal and Regenerative BiologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Fetal and Regenerative BiologyChildren’s Hospital ColoradoAuroraUSA

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