Recognised Research Center Of Mysore University


Stem cells are mother cells characterized by their ability for self-renewal (i.e., maintaining their undifferentiated state during several rounds of cell division), and their potency (i.e., the ability to differentiate into specialized cell types).
There are many different types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed at different times in our lives. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development and various types of tissue-specific (or adult) stem cells that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout life. Another type by name, Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is produced in the lab by reprogramming adult cells to express ES characteristics.

Embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, a mainly hollow ball of cells that, in the human, forms three to five days after an egg cell is fertilized by a sperm. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can give rise to every cell type in the fully formed body, but not the placenta and umbilical cord. These cells are incredibly valuable because they provide a renewable resource for studying normal development and disease, and for testing drugs and other therapies. Human embryonic stem cells have been derived primarily from blastocysts created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for assisted reproduction that were no longer needed.

Tissue-specific stem cells

Tissue-specific stem cells (also referred to as somatic or adult stem cells) are more specialized than embryonic stem cells. Typically, these stem cells can generate different cell types for the specific tissue or organ in which they live.

For example, blood-forming (or hematopoietic) stem cells in the bone marrow can give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Some tissues and organs within your body contain small caches of tissue-specific stem cells whose job it is to replace cells from that tissue that are lost in normal day-to-day living or in injury, such as those in your skin, blood, and the lining of your gut.

Mesenchymal stem cells

Mesenchymal stem cells or (MSCs) are multi potent tissue or 'adult' stem cells that can make several types of cells belonging to our skeletal tissues, such as cartilage, bone and fat. MSCs make the different specialized cells found in the skeletal tissues. For example, they can differentiate into cartilage cells (chondrocytes), bone cells (osteoblasts) and fat cells (adipocytes). These specialized cells each have their own characteristic shapes, structures and functions, and each belongs in a particular tissue.

Induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are cells that have been engineered in the lab by converting tissue-specific cells, such as skin cells, into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. IPS cells are critical tools to help scientists learn more about normal development and disease onset and progression, and they are also useful for developing and testing new drugs and therapies.