Stem cells are self-renewing cells capable of differentiating into multiple cell lines and are classified according to their origin and their ability to differentiate. Enormous potential exists in use of stem cells for regenerative medicine. To produce effective stem cell–based treatments for a range of diseases, an improved understanding of stem cell biology and better control over stem cell fate are necessary. In addition, the barriers to clinical translation, such as potential oncologic properties of stem cells, need to be addressed. With renewed government support and continued refinement of current stem cell methodologies, the future of stem cell research is exciting and promises to provide novel reconstructive options for patients and surgeons limited by traditional paradigms.
Stanford, Calif.; and Heidelberg, Germany
From the Hagey Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, and Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine; and the BG-Unfallklinik Ludwigshafen, Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Heidelberg.
Received for publication November 19, 2009; accepted February 19, 2010.
The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article.
Michael T. Longaker, M.D., M.B.A., 257 Campus Drive, Stanford, Calif. 94305-5148, firstname.lastname@example.org