Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell lineages. Due to their high proliferative capacity, strong differentiation ability and self-renewal properties, stem cells have become valuable tools in regenerative medicine, cell-based therapies, tissue engineering and new drug research and development. The main sources of stem cells are embryonic tissue, fetal tissues (such as fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, or umbilical cord), specific locations in the adult organism (such as fat, bone marrow, skeletal muscle, skin, or blood), and differentiated somatic cells after they have been genetically reprogrammed, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
Stem cells from different sources have different potential. Only embryonic stem cells derived from morula are totipotent, that is, capable of differentiating into all types of cells present in the organism. Embryonic stem cells derived from a later stage of embryonic development are pluripotent, meaning that they can differentiate into any tissue in the body except the placenta. In contrast with embryonic-derived tissues, adult stem cell sources avoid the ethical concerns regarding fetal tissue harvest. Stem cells form most tissues are usually multipotent, able to differentiate to a limited range of differentiated cell lineages appropriate to their location. For example, small intestinal stem cells can produce four indigenous lineages, including Paneth, goblet, absorptive columnar, and enteroendocrine, while central nervous system (CNS) stem cells have tri-lineage potential capable of generating neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. However, some adult stem cells are oligopotent, bipotent or even unipotent, such as basal cells in the epidermis, spermatogonial stem cells, and satellite cells in skeletal muscles. Progenitor cells are descendants of stem cells and have limited potential. There are many types of progenitor cells, each of which can only differentiate into a specific cell type belonging to the same tissue or organ. iPSCs are pluripotent stem cells that created from adult somatic cells by the introduction of pluripotency-associated genes or "reprogramming factors". iPCS cells have the theoretical capacity of unlimited propagation and differentiation and can be stored in tissue banks.
Stem cells hold great promise for major advances in science and medicine. The unique properties of stem cells allow them to be developed as cell-based therapies to replace missing or damaged cells in important diseases, as well as important tools for drug discovery and basic knowledge research. Amerigo Scientific offers high quality stem cells for disease modeling and tissue engineering research. Most products come with detailed demographic information including gender, age, BMI, and tissue harvest location. Cell viability, immunophenotype, differentiation profile and CFU-F data are also available upon request.