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Biotechnol Adv. 2013 Sep-Oct;31(5):744-51. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Enabling stem cell therapies for tissue repair: current and future challenges.

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Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 257 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Stem cells embody the tremendous potential of the human body to develop, grow, and repair throughout life. Understanding the biologic mechanisms that underlie stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration is key to harnessing this potential. Recent advances in molecular biology, genetic engineering, and material science have broadened our understanding of stem cells and helped bring them closer to widespread clinical application. Specifically, innovative approaches to optimize how stem cells are identified, isolated, grown, and utilized will help translate these advances into effective clinical therapies. Although there is growing interest in stem cells worldwide, this enthusiasm must be tempered by the fact that these treatments remain for the most part clinically unproven. Future challenges include refining the therapeutic manipulation of stem cells, validating these technologies in randomized clinical trials, and regulating the global expansion of regenerative stem cell therapies.

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