Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myocytes, adipocytes, and potentially other cell types. For years, it has been clear that MSCs are a leading type of stem cell being investigated for therapeutic applications, because they have the potential to treat a wide range of acute and degenerative diseases.
In addition to secreting factors that can stimulate tissue repair, MSCs can substantially alter their microenvironment, exerting effects that are both anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic. MSCs are also advantageous over other stem cells types, because they avoid the ethical issues that surround embryonic stem cell research and appear to be immuno-privileged.
Importantly, MSCs also well-suited for use in the exponential growth area of 3D printing, because of their unusual capacity to form structural tissues. [Read more…]