Stem Cells

Mark F. Pittenger, Candace Kerr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Stem cells are the building blocks of the embryo and they allow the phenomenal gain in size and complexity that accompanies early development. Stem cells are very much dependent on their environment to maintain the stem cell phenotype and easily begin to differentiate into adult cell types when removed from the stem cell niche. Stem cells have the property of plasticity that allows them to respond to different signals in different environments. Some types of stem cells are found in the adult, most often in tissues that constantly regenerate, such as blood and skin and intestinal epithelia. Other tissues that were, until recently, thought not to regenerate have been found to have small numbers of stem or progenitor cells that replace the functional cells slowly, such as bone, heart, and brain. The presence of at least some adult stem cells in all tissues suggests that we must understand their in vivo role and use them to facilitate better and complete tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTissue Engineering: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages43
ISBN (Print)9780124201453
StatePublished - Dec 10 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Hematopoietic stem cell
  • Induced pluripotent stem cell
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Metastable state
  • Self-renewal
  • Stem cell
  • Surface proteins
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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