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Stem Cell Glossary

Bone marrow

A soft, spongy tissue that fills the cavities inside most bones in the human body. Bone marrow is a source of stem cells that manufacture red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It is a conventional source fro stem cell transplantation.

Cellular therapy

A field of medicine that uses cells to repair tissues that have been damaged by human disease or to generate new tissues with desired functional activities.

Endogenous stem cells

Stem cells that are already present in the body.

In vitro

Describes a state or condition that occurs and /or exists outside the body. This term often refers to testing conditions that occur in a laboratory environment.

In vivo

Describes a state or condition that occurs and/or exists within the body. This term is often used to describe testing conditions that occur within humans and/or animals.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS)

Stem cells derived from adult skin tissue. Skin cells are treated with a precise cocktail of naturally occurring growth factors that “turns back the clock,” transforming them back into cells much like those that gave rise to them—stem cells.

Neuronal/neural stem cells

Cells capable of becoming tissues of the brain and central nervous system.


Capable of giving rise to most tissues of an organism.

Stem cells

Cells that have the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and give rise to specialized cells.


Having unlimited capability. Totipotent cells have the capacity to specialize into extraembryonic membranes and tissues, the embryo, and all postembryonic tissues and organs.


The process of giving tissues or cells to treat a disease. The tissue or cells may come from the same patient (autologous) or from another person (allogenic).

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