Overview    |   Hematopoietic, Bone Marrow, Cord Blood    |   Mesenchymal    |   Cardiac    |   Neural    |   Epithelial    |   Pluripotential    |   Tissue Engineering    |   Genomics and microRNAs    |   Regeneration    |   Cancer    |   Imaging

Mesenchymal stem cells

Many tissues in the body, for example, the connective tissue under the skin, cartilage, fat and blood vessels are made up of cells loosely known as “mesenchymal” cells. While many of the cells in these tissues are too specialized to self-renew, some can multiple extensively if the tissue is injured or placed in culture. Some of these mesenchymal cells behave like multipotent stem cells and can give rise to many different cell types. For example, cells from under the skin can give rise to muscle and cartilage. There is some evidence that these cells can also turn into nerve cells, but this is still controversial. Several Program members are studying mesenchymal cells derived from tissues like fat and cartilage. As described in the Stem cells and Bioengineering section, significant progress is being made in combining mesenchymal cells with artificial matrix material to make cartilage for grafting.

Farshid Guilak, Ph.D.
Laszlo Ormandy Professor
Department of Surgery
Division of Orthopaedics
Box 3093, DUMC, Durham, NC  27710
Phone: 919-684-2521
E-mail: guilak@duke.edu