Stem cells are cells that have the ability to self-replicate and differentiate into specialized cells such as heart, brain, nerve, liver, skin, and bone and therefore potentially have the ability to treat diseases and injuries involving these organs. Stem cells must not be confused with progenitor or precursor cells; whereas stem cells have the ability to transform into multiple cells types, progenitor cells are committed to a certain lineage. For example, a hematopoietic cell is destined to become only blood cells.
The human body has two key types of stem cell that are currently showing great promise to mankind: Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
HSCs that are found in the cord blood and peripheral blood are multipotent stem cells that have the potential to differentiate mainly into blood components such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc.
MSCs is true adult multipotent stem cell that has been shown differentiate or trans-differentiate into fat, cartilage, bone, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, neurons, mesangial cells, epithelial cells and liver cells. MSCs can be found mainly in bone marrow, Wharton’s Jelly (umbilical cord), peripheral blood and adipose tissues. These sources are widely acknowledged as safe Sources of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.