Facial plast Surg 2010; 26(5): 343-349
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1265015
© Thieme Medical Publishers

An Introduction to Stem Cell Biology

Shirin Hemmat1 , David M. Lieberman1 , Sam P. Most1
  • 1Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
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Publication History

Publication Date:
17 September 2010 (online)


The field of stem cell biology has undergone tremendous expansion over the past two decades. Scientific investigation has continued to expand our understanding of these complex cells at a rapidly increasing rate. This understanding has produced a vast array of potential clinical applications. This article will serve as an overview of the current state of stem cell research as it applies to scientific and medical applications. Included in the discussion is a review of the many different types of stem cells, including but not limited to adult, embryonic, and perinatal stem cells. Also, this article describes somatic cell nuclear transfer, an exciting technology that allows the production of totipotent stem cells from fully differentiated cells, thereby eliminating the use of embryonic sources. This discussion should serve as a review of the field of stem cell biology and provide a foundation for the reader to better understand the interface of stem cell technology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.