Are stem cells the teacher or the student?


Are stem cells the teacher or the student?


Penn Marc S


Current opinion in organ transplantation




PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Stem cell-based therapies for preventing and treating chronic end-organ dysfunction have captured the imagination of the lay public and spurred scientific and clinical development in multiple disciplines and disease states. The goal of this review is to build a framework around the different approaches being deployed to heal or treat end-organ dysfunction and discuss how within this framework future developments may occur. RECENT FINDINGS: In this review, we divide the development of regenerative therapies into two broad categories. The first 'Stem Cells as the Student' focuses on the fact that we need to coax/teach the stem cells to differentiate in an efficient manner into the cells of interest, then using tissue engineering, we need to integrate them in an appropriate delivery system/matrix, and then generate a blood supply, sufficient to allow for their survival following engraftment. In the second category 'Stem Cells as the Teacher,' we learn from studies on stem cell biology, critical pathways that are dysregulated in tissue repair. By identifying these critical pathways, we can develop drug and biologics that can enhance tissue repair and end-organ function. SUMMARY: Regenerative therapies have exciting potential to improve patient outcomes in a variety of acute and chronic disease states. There is significant excitement in general public, and the scientific and clinical communities. Early studies have been variably successful. As we move forward and understand the biology and engineering principles involved, significant advances with greater chances of success and efficacy will come.


*Stem Cell Transplantation; *Stem Cells; Bone Marrow/physiopathology; Humans; Regeneration; Tissue Engineering; Wounds and Injuries/*physiopathology/*surgery


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Penn Marc S, “Are stem cells the teacher or the student?,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed April 16, 2024,