Aging and disease are two major reasons why organs in our body decline in function. One of the major goals of clinical medicine and research has been to identify potential therapeutic mechanisms to treat degenerating organs and induce functional recovery. Cell therapy–based approaches have been long sought as a more natural, more effective means of treatment that has fewer side effects than chemical drugs. The field of regenerative medicine is focused on identifying methods by which damaged tissues can either be replaced with cell-based therapy and transplantation or by externally stimulating the regenerative capacity of those tissues. Populations of pluripotent or multipotent cells that have the capacity to differentiate into specific cell types can be used in clinical therapy to treat dysfunctional tissues in organs. ...

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