Amanda Andersson-Rolf & Bon-Kyoung Koo
Translation & Application of Gene Editing
The term stem cell was first used in the late 19th century to describe ‘the ancestor’ unicellular organism, the origin from which all multicellular organisms evolved. Our definition today is that of a cell characterized by two properties: self-renewal (the capacity to generate new stem cells) and multipotency (the ability to differentiate into different cell lineages) [1–4]. Due to these characteristics, stem cells hold great potential for clinical use by providing an unlimited source of cells for cell therapy in regenerative and/or personalized medicine. To realize this potential, the development of stem cell culture systems, as well as stem cell genome editing tools, has been of paramount importance. Here, recent advances in culture systems and genome editing tools will be discussed. This Expert Insight will provide an overview of current, state-of-the-art stem cell culture systems, with a focus on the recent progress in 3D tissue culture of both embryonic and adult stem cells, as well as the genome editing tools present today. Finally, we will discuss how stem cell and genome editing technologies can be combined to gain insights into human development and disease, and to fulfil the promises of stem cell research in the clinic.
Submitted for review: Aug 26 2015 Published: Dec 10 2015; DOI: 10.18609/cgti.2015.019
Citation: Cell Gene Therapy Insights 2015; 1(2), 243-251