Haema 2016; 7(1): 18-26
by Maria G. Roubelakis1, Nicholas P. Anagnou2
1Laboratory of Biology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece,
2Cell and Gene Therapy Laboratory, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece
The concept of Regenerative Medicine combined with Cell based Therapy and Tissue Engineering represents the forth pillar of healthcare and provides a promising approach for the treatment of serious diseases. Recently, cell based therapies have been focused on the use of mesenchymal stem/ stromal cells (MSCs). Human MSCs represent a mesoderm derived population of progenitors that are easily expanded in culture. They are capable to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes and exhibit the potential to repair or regenerate damaged tissues. The best characterized source of human MSCs to date is the bone marrow (BM); recently, fetal sources, such as amniotic fluid (AF), umbilical cord (UC), amniotic membranes (AM) or placenta have also attracted increased attention. Thus, MSCs may represent a valuable tool for Tissue Regeneration and Cell Therapy. To this end, the main focus of this review is to summarize and evaluate the key characteristics, the sources and the potential use of MSCs in therapeutic approaches and modalities.