Glossary: Stem Cell Terms and Definitions


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Adipose - the medical term for body fat; adipose is considered an organ whose main function is to store energy in the form of lipids.

Adult (or somatic) stem cells
Adult (or somatic) stem cells - a stem cell that can be found in organs and tissues (including umbilical cord and placenta, just after birth), that can renew themselves and transform into other specialized cell types.

Allogeneic transplantation
Allogeneic transplantation - transplanting organs, tissues or cells from one person to another. This term is opposed to "autologous transplantation".

Amniotic Stem Cells
Amniotic Stem Cells - are the mixture of stem cells that can be obtained from the amniotic fluid as well as the amniotic membrane. They can develop into various tissue types including skin, cartilage, cardiac tissue, nerves, muscle, and bone.

Ancestor Cells and Precursor Cells
Ancestor Cells and Precursor Cells - «Ancestor cell» or «Precursor cell» are generic terms for a type of cell that has no capability to renew itself, although it is able to generate tissue stem cells in some cases, thus contributing to the formation of tissues.

Angiogenesis - the growth of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature.

Apheresis - is a medical technology in which the blood of a person is passed through an apparatus that separates out one particular constituent and returns the remainder to the circulation.

Astrocyte - is a type of supporting (glial) cell found in the nervous system.

Autologous transplantation
Autologous transplantation is transplantation in which stem cells are removed from a person, stored, and later given back to that same person.

Axogenesis. Growth of nerve axons.

B-lymphocytes (B cells: bone marrow - or bursa-derived cells) are a type of white blood cell of the lymphocyte subtype.B cells are the major cellular components of the adaptive immune response. B cells are primarily responsible for humoral immunity (relating to antibodies).

Beta-cell - cells that make insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Beta cells are found in the pancreas within clusters of cells known as islets.

A blastocyst is an embryo that has been left to develop until day 5 or 6 and presents a complex cellular structure formed by approximately 200 cells.

Bone marrow
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains a huge number of stem cells.

Bone marrow cell
Bone marrow cell. Bone marrow contains two types of stem cells: hemopoietic (which can produce blood cells) and stromal (which can produce fat, cartilage, and bone).

Bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy. This procedure involves transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs)
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cancer cells (found within tumors or hematological cancers) that possess characteristics associated with normal stem cells, specifically the ability to give rise to all cell types found in a particular cancer sample.

A cell is a structurally functional elementary unit of the structure and vital activity of all living organisms. It has its own metabolism, and it is capable of reproducing itself.

Cell culture
Cell culture - the growth of cells in a laboratory where nutrients, growth factors and all other requirements for cell survival are provided.

Cell division
Cell division is the process by which one cell divides into two cells, thereby increasing the cell population.

Chimera. An organism composed of cells derived from at least two genetically different cell types. The cells could be from the same or separate species.

Clinical test
Clinical test - a rigorously controlled test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on human subjects.

Cloning is the process of producing identical copies of a molecule, cell, or organism.

Cord blood
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord after childbirth.

The derivation is the process of collecting hematopoietic cells from your bone marrow before an autologous transplant. It is also used to collect hematopoietic cells from a donor for use in allogeneic transplantation. This process is also called bone marrow harvesting.

Diploid сells
A diploid cell is a cell that contains two complete sets of chromosomes. This is double the haploid chromosome number. Most cells in the human body are diploid, with the exception of gametes.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Deoxyribonucleic acid is a chemical found primarily in the nucleus of cells.

Donor A
Donor A - a volunteer who has donated stem cells for a patient.

Ectoderm is one of the three primary germ layers in the very early embryo that is the source of various tissues and structures (such as the epidermis, the nervous system, and the eyes and ears).

Embryo. An embryo is an early stage of development of a multicellular organism.

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs)
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are stem cells derived from human embryos (at the blastocyst stage). ESCs are self-renewing (can replicate themselves) and have the potential to differentiate into all cell types in the body.

Endogenous stem cells
Endogenous stem cells - stem cells that are already present in the body.

Engineered stem cell
Engineered stem cell - a stem cell that has been modified in the laboratory to give it specific properties.

Engraftment is the beginning of the growth of hematopoietic cells and the production of healthy blood cells that appear in your blood.

Epidermis - the upper or outer layer of the two main layers of cells that make up the skin.

Extraembryonic stem cells
Totipotent (also known as omnipotent) stem cells can differentiate into embryonic and extraembryonic cell types. Extraembryonic fetal stem cells come from extraembryonic membranes and are generally not distinguished from adult stem cells. These stem cells are acquired after birth, they are not immortal but have a high level of cell division, and are pluripotent.

Germ cell
Germ cell - a gamete, that is, a sperm or egg, or a cell that can become a sperm or egg. Germ cells are haploid cells (they have a single set of 23 chromosomes containing half the usual amount of DNA and half the usual number of genes), all other body cells are somatic cells.

Germ layer
germ layer is a primary layer of cells that forms during embryonic development.

Haploid cells
Haploid cells are living cells, unlike diploid cells, containing a single set of chromosomes. Haploid stem cells are artificial cell lines experimentally derived in vitro in the form of different types of stem cells, which combine the characteristics of haploidy with a broad developmental potential and open the possibility to uncover biological mysteries at a genomic scale.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) - adult stem cells found in bone marrow and blood. HSCs are capable of producing cells that make up the blood and the immune system.

Hemocytoblast - is an undifferentiated hematopoietic cell, localized in the bone marrow, which is the parent cell of hematopoiesis.

In vitro
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
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.

Langerhans cells
Langerhans cells are dendritic but unpigmented and are found nearer the skin surface than melanocytes. They are present in all layers of the epidermis and are most prominent in the stratum spinosum.

Lymphocytes are white blood cells that are also one of the body's main types of immune cells. Lymphocytes include natural killer cells (which function in cell-mediated, cytotoxic innate immunity), T cells (for cell-mediated, cytotoxic adaptive immunity), and B cells (for humoral, antibody-driven adaptive immunity).

Lymphoid stem cell
The pluripotent stem cell can differentiate into either the myeloid cell line or the lymphoid cell line. Lymphoid cells include T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and innate lymphoid cells.

Mesoderm is one of three germ layers found in triploblastic organisms; it is found between the ectoderm and endoderm.

Mitosis cell
Mitosis cell is the type of stem cell division that allows a population of cells to increase its numbers or to maintain its numbers.

Multipotent stem cells
Multipotent stem cells - the ability of a single stem cell to develop into more than one cell type of the body. Most adult stem cells are multipotent stem cells.

Myeloid stem cell
Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to different types of blood cells, in lines called myeloid and lymphoid. Cells in the myeloid cell line are those that arise from myeloid progenitor cells, and will eventually become the specific adult blood cells. Myeloid cells include monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, erythrocytes, and megakaryocytes to platelets.

Packed red blood cells
Packed red blood cells, also known as PRBCs or simply "packed cells", are red blood cells that have been separated for blood transfusion. Packed red blood cells are typically given in situations where the patient has either lost a large amount of blood or has anemia that is causing notable symptoms.

The placenta is a temporary organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby's blood. The placenta is a source of hematopoietic stem cells during fetal development.

Pluripotent stem cells
Pluripotent stem cells - are cells that have the capacity to self-renew by dividing and to develop into the three primary germ cell layers of the early embryo and therefore into all cells of the adult body, but not extra-embryonic tissues such as the placenta. Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are pluripotent stem cells.

Progenitor cells
Progenitor cells are biological cells, which, just like stem cells, tend to differentiate into a certain type of cell, but are already more defined than stem cells.

Recipient - someone who is given something, such as a blood transfusion or an organ transplant, that is derived from another person (the donor).

Reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation
Reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation is a preparatory regimen with the use of reduced doses of chemotherapeutic drugs with or without simultaneous irradiation.

Somatic stem cells
Somatic stem cells are basically adult stem cells that are found in both children and adult humans.

Stem cell
A stem cell - is a cell that has the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and give rise to specialized cells.

Stromal cell
Stromal cells are connective tissue cells of any organ, for example in the uterine mucosa (endometrium), prostate, bone marrow, lymph node, and the ovary. They are cells that support the function of the parenchymal cells of that

A totipotent stem cell can give rise to all the cell types that make up the body plus all of the cell types that make up the extraembryonic tissues such as the placenta.

Unipotent stem cells
Unipotent stem cells are stem cells that can self-renew and differentiate into one cell type.

Unspecialized cells
Unspecialized cells are cells that can transform (differentiate) into other types of cells with a narrower specialization (for example, nerve cells, blood cells), and also divide, forming new types of cells.

What are the Regenexx Procedures
The Regenexx Procedures help solve that problem by precisely delivering a high concentration of stem cells into the injured area and aiding your body’s ability to heal naturally.

White blood cells definition
White blood cells definition: also called leukocytes or leucocytes, these are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders. All white blood cells are produced and derived from multipotent cells in the bone marrow known as hematopoietic stem cells.