Stem Cells: Concept, Properties, and Characterization
Recent research has shown that the most effective system of repair of the human body is represented by stem cells. By definition, stem cells are able to divide and make copies of themselves indefinitely (self-renewal). In turn, under certain physiological conditions, they give rise to different cell types (differentiation). These characteristics make them indispensable both to replace the cells of the body that have become damaged and have been lost and to build the body itself during development. This chapter highlights general concepts about their biology, manipulation and culture, safety, and regulatory framework. Advances and knowledge in these areas are essential to achieve successful cell-based therapeutic applications.
KeywordsStem cells Self-renewal Differentiation Immunomodulation Advanced therapies Stem cell culture Cancer stem cells
Authors are supported by the nonprofit Fundación Progreso y Salud, Consejería de Salud, Junta de Andalucía; FEDER cofunded grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (Red TerCel: RD12/0019/0028 and RD16/00259; CIBERDEM: CB07/08/0006; PI14/01015, PI16/00259, PI17/02104, and CD16/00118); and Junta de Andalucía (PAI-BIO311, CTS-576, CTS 11-727, PI-0109-2014, PI0007/2016, and PI0272/2017). CIBERDEM is an initiative of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
No human studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
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