If you’re new to the world of stem cells, it can be overwhelming. There are so many terms and acronyms that it can be difficult to keep track of what each one means. To help make understanding stem cells a bit easier, we have compiled this stem cell glossary with definitions of some of the most commonly used terms. Whether you are looking for information on stem cell treatments or just want to learn more about the science behind stem cells, this glossary is a great starting point.
Glossary of terms
A – autologous: refers to cells or tissue that comes from the same individual.
B – biopsy: a medical procedure that involves taking a small sample of tissue from the body in order to test it for disease or other abnormalities.
C – cellular therapy: the use of living cells to treat or prevent disease and other medical conditions.
cell: the basic unit of structure and function in living organisms.
cryopreservation: the process of preserving cells or tissues by cooling them to very low temperatures.
D – differentiation: the process by which a stem cell turns into a specific type of cell, such as a red blood cell or a muscle cell.
Donor: an individual who provides cells or tissues for another person.
E – embryonic stem cells: stem cells derived from early-stage embryos that can differentiate into any type of specialized cell in the body.
F – flow cytometry: a technique used to measure and analyze physical characteristics of cells, such as size, shape, and surface markers.
G – gene therapy: an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent diseases and other medical conditions.
Graft: tissue or cells that are transplanted from one individual to another.
H – Hematopoietic stem cell: a type of adult stem cell that gives rise to all blood cells in the body.
I – Induced pluripotent stem cell: A type of adult stem cell that has been genetically reprogrammed to have properties similar to embryonic stem cells.
J – Journal: a scholarly publication in which research articles are published.
K – Karyotype: a method used to study chromosomes and genetic disorders.
L – Lineage: the pathway of cell development leading to a particular cell type.
M – Multipotent stem cell: a type of adult stem cell that has the ability to give rise to multiple, but not all, cell types.
N – Neural stem cell: a type of adult stem cell that has the ability to give rise to cells of the nervous system.
O – Organogenesis: the formation of organs from stem cells.
P – Pluripotent stem cell: a type of stem cell that has the ability to give rise to any cell type in the body.
Q – Quantitative research: a type of research that uses numerical data to answer questions.
R – Regenerative medicine: the use of cells, tissues, and organs to replace or repair damaged or diseased body parts.
S – Stem cell: a type of cell that has the ability to divide indefinitely and can give rise to multiple types of cells.
T – Tissue engineering: the use of stem cells to create new tissues and organs.
U – Umbilical cord blood: the blood from the umbilical cord that is rich in stem cells.
W – Whole-genome sequencing: the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome.
X – Xenotransplantation: the transplantation of cells or tissues from one species to another.
Stem cell research is a rapidly evolving field and this stem cell glossary has provided you with some of the key terms to help you navigate it. Stem cells have incredible potential for helping us better understand various diseases, alleviate conditions, and even develop new treatments and therapies. As we continue to explore the possibilities that stem cells can offer, it’s important that we remain knowledgeable about these terms in order to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in this field.