Umbilical cord blood, previously discarded, has emerged as a new source of stem cells for hematologic reconstitution, bone marrow failures and other hematologic deficiencies. It has become increasingly clear that umbilical cord tissue contains unique stem cells of great potential for regenerative medicine. Importantly, umbilical cord blood is abundant, can be banked and transported with ease, and thus has an indisputable potential for future regenerative therapies. Driven by a massive interest for regenerative medicine and ethically acceptable stem cell sources, the scientific literature on umbilical cord stem cells has exploded.
This book provides a consolidated overview of basic, translational as well as clinical research in academic institutions and industry, on hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells contained within umbilical cord tissue, as well as other more recently discovered stem and precursor cells of not yet fully elucidated potential. Although not discussed here, umbilical cord cells have been successfully reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells (iPS), opening the door for a vast array of applications with this abundant human material likely catapulting cord-derived stem cells to the forefront of cell-based regenerative medicine.
Suitable as a primer and reference book for medical fellows and researchers, this book can also be used by students (undergraduate and graduate) as a starting point into the vast literature on stem cells and their potential.