Mesenchymal Stem Cell Science

The development and repair of native tissue is a highly orchestrated cellular process. For example, the skeletal development is initiated by mesenchymal stem cell condensation. Thus, a critical issue to address in the regeneration of complex tissue systems is the cell source. The ideal cell source for regenerative engineering should possess the following characteristics: ease of isolation, capability to be expanded to higher passages, no immunorejection, no graft-versus-host disease, no tumorigenicity, controlled cell proliferation rate, predictable and consistent tissue forming potentials, and controlled integration into the surrounding tissue. At present, adult stem cells (ASCs) are attractive candidates due to their clinical translation potentials and fewer ethical concerns associated with embryonic stem cells (ESCs). ASCs reside in the fully differentiated or adult tissue. The ability of ASCs to differentiate down different lineages enables the possibility of investigating the effect of various physic-chemical cues on cellular activity and capitalizing on the plasticity of the cells for complex tissue regeneration. So far, a wide range of ASCs derived from muscle, marrow, and adipose tissue have shown great promise for engineering different types of tissues such as skin, bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage, blood vessel, and nerve. The emergence of induced pluripotent stem cell technology will further aim the convergence of developmental biology and regenerative engineering for the translational tissue repair.

live cells