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Technology > Stem Cells Overview
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)
Stem cells are defined by two important characteristics: They are able to renew themselves through cell division, and, under certain physiological or experimental conditions, they can differentiate into (turn to) tissue or organ specific cells. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells often repair and replace damaged tissues. In other organs, such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only rarely divide.
4-5 days after fertilization, the pre-embryo, called blastocyst, has an inner mass of cells that can give rise to any cell type (except the placenta).
Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) lines are derived from this inner cell mass. . These cells are called pluripotent due to their potency to differentiate into many (pluri) cell types.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are pluripotent stem cells that are artificially made from “regular” adult cells (for example: a skin cell). Inserting specific genes into a cell can cause a the cell to become pluripotent. iPSC share many similar characteristics with hESC, among them unlimited proliferation potential and the ability to differentiate to all the cell types comprising the body. Kadimastem uses both pluripotent cell sources (hESC and iPSC) for deriving its differentiated cells. Collectively these cells are called human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).