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Stem Cells: Cellular and Extracellular Requirements for Generation and Use

  • Gerd Bungartz
  • Kathryn Bungartz
Chapter

Abstract

Cell and stem cell technology embodies the efforts of biologists, bioengineers, and clinicians to develop approaches for the effective treatment of countless medical conditions from cancer, diabetes, and dementia to anemia, skin grafts, and hair loss. The technology of cell and stem cell manipulation bears the potential for these treatment options to be accessible and individualized, achieving the goals of personalized medicine. This chapter touches briefly on historic milestones in the field of stem cell research and provides an overview of discoveries that led to the understanding we have today. Thus, a concise introduction of the terms and definitions of stem cells is provided. Cellular and extracellular cues, such as transcriptional control and the stem cells niche, which in concert determine stem cell behavior, are addressed as well as examples of how this knowledge has been used for stem cell manipulation, in vivo culture and expansion and directed cell type specific differentiation. Finally, this chapter dedicates a section to the goal of generating desired cell types for therapeutic purposes from stem cells and discusses how they are currently studied in a clinical setting. For easy overview, a selection of clinical trials currently under way exploiting the pronounced potential of stem cells for medical purposes is presented in tabular form. Ethical concerns, which inevitably accompany the progress of research and use of stem cells, are addressed, leaving the reader with an unbiased presentation of arguments surrounding the debate of ethics in the stem cell field. Since it is impossible to provide a detailed description of the vast information that has accumulated over the last decades, a selection of the most important advances is provided. In each section, numerous references of review articles and original research papers invite the interested reader for further study.

Keywords

Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cells Induced pluripotent stem cells Stem cell niche Stem cells in clinical trials 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hochschule DöpferCologneGermany
  2. 2.K.D. Bungartz, LLCRivertonUSA

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