The following is a glossary of commonly used stem cell-related terms.
Adipose-derived stem cells: Stem cells that are extracted from fat
Adult Stem Cells: Adult stem cells are cells found throughout the body after embryonic development. Adult stem cells are multi-potent and have the ability to differentiate in several distinct cell types. These cells also have the ability to divide and renew themselves for indefinite periods of time in culture. Sources for adult stem cells include bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), skin and umbilical cord blood.
Allogeneic cells: Cells that are not from the recipient but from a like species
Autologous cells: These are the patient’s own stem cells
Bone marrow stromal cells: A population of cells found in bone marrow that are different from blood cells.
Cell-based therapies: Treatment in which stem cells are induced to differentiate into the specific cell type required to repair damaged or destroyed cells or tissues.
Cell culture: Growth of cells in vitro in an artificial medium for research or medical treatment.
Cell division: Method by which a single cell divides to create two cells. There are two main types of cell division depending on what happens to the chromosomes: mitosis and meiosis.
Chondrocyte: Chondrocytes are cells derived from mesenchymal stem cells, are found in cartilage and are the cells responsible for producing the cartilaginous matrix.
Culture medium: The liquid that covers cells in a culture dish and contains nutrients to nourish and support the cells. Culture medium may also include growth factors added to produce desired changes in the cells.
Embryonic Stem Cell: Embryonic stem cells are derived from the cluster of cells from an embryo 4-5 days old. These cells are pluripotent and have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell found in the body. Animal Cell Therapies, Inc. does not use embryonic stem cells.
Fibroblast: Fibroblasts are cells derived from mesenchymal stem cells in connective tissue.
Hematopoetic stem cell: Hematopoetic stem cells are multipotent cells which give rise to all blood cells in the body.
In Vitro: A process that takes place in the laboratory (e.g. in cell culture).
In Vitro: A experimentation using a whole, living organism as opposed to a partial or dead organism, or an in vitro (“within the glass”)
Mesenchymal stem cell: Mesenchymal stem cells are cells which are derived from embryonic mesoderm that go onto form connective tissue in the body. Mesenchymal stem cells are self renewing and have the ability to become chondrocytes (cartilage cells), osteoblasts (bone cells) adipocytes (fat cells) and fibroblasts (connective tissue cells).
Microenvironment: The molecules and compounds such as nutrients and growth factors in the fluid surrounding a cell in an organism or in the laboratory, which play an important role in determining the characteristics of the cell.
Mulipotent Cells: Multipotent cells are produced from pluripotent cells and have the ability to differentiate into more specialized, specific types of cells.
Neuron: Neurons are specialized cells which are the main component of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, and function to provide electrochemical signaling throughout the nervous system.
Regenerative medicine: A field of medicine devoted to treatments in which stem cells are induced to differentiate into the specific cell type required to repair damaged or destroyed cell populations or tissues.
Stem Cells: Stem cells are cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells: Stem cells collected from the umbilical cord at birth that can produce all of the blood cells in the body (hematopoietic). Cord blood is currently used to treat patients who have undergone chemotherapy to destroy their bone marrow due to cancer or other blood-related disorders.
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