Alessandra Fierabracci Pages 105 - 113 ( 9 )
The field of regenerative medicine offers nowadays the potential to significantly impact a wide spectrum of healthcare issues, from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type 1 diabetes, T1D) to cardiovascular disease. In tissue engineering biomaterials, biological factors, regeneration competent cells are used in the process of creating functional tissue. Regarding the type of stem or progenitor cells which represents the best candidate for therapy, embryonic stem cells have been considered the master cells capable of differentiating into every type of cells either in vitro or in vivo, in spite of serious ethical concerns. Nevertheless, experimental evidence suggests that adult stem cells and even terminally differentiated somatic cells under appropriate micro environmental treatments can be reprogrammed and contribute to a much wider spectrum of differentiated progeny than previously anticipated. One of the main goals is to exploit novel technologies aiming to isolate, expand and enrich sources of regeneration competent cells, especially adult somatic stem cells. Researchers are also trying to develop innovative strategies for effectively delivering regenerative cell populations and to implement ‘tracking’ tools to verify their engraftment and destiny in vivo. Here we review recent patents on the field issued over the past five years.
Adult stem cells, isolation, delivery, tracking
Autoimmunity and Organ Regeneration Laboratory, Children's Hospital Bambino Gesu, Piazza S. Onofrio, 4, 00165 Rome, Italy.