Stem cells are a kind of cells with the ability of self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. A variety of stem cells or progenitor cells have been shown to be efficacy in the treatment of some refractory diseases. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are derived from mesoderm and have the characteristics of differentiation into three germ layers and immune regulation, which means that these cells are suitable for either autologous or allogeneic treatment and are ideal cells for regenerative medicine. MSCs can be isolated from various tissue types, including the bone marrow, fat, and perinatal tissues. From the perspective of ethics, medicine and cell engineering, adult bone marrow and adipose MSCs cannot be used as a mass production source of conventional treatment. Perinatal tissue, including umbilical cord, amniotic fluid and placenta, is a rich source of MSCs with strong immunosuppressive and proangiogeneic activities. These stem cells bring new hope for disease treatment. This paper reviews the research progress of stem cells as novel technology, novel therapies and industrial model in the field of regenerative medicine.
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