Stem cells are the building block and foundation for every organ in the body. Without stem cells, life couldn’t exist. Many of these different stem cells come from different parts of the body and some stem cells come at different times in our lives.

Embryonic stem cells exist only during the earliest stages of development. There are also adult stem cells, also considered tissue-specific stem cells, that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout our lives.

We know that all stem cells are able to make copies of themselves and differentiate into other types of cells. However, other than these two similarities, stem cells vary in what they can and cannot do. This is the main reason why scientists would prefer to use all types of stem cells during research.

Let’s learn about the various types of stem cells and their uses.

Embryonic Stem Cells

According to,

“Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, a mainly hollow ball of cells that, in the human, forms three to five days after an egg cell is fertilized by a sperm. A human blastocyst is about the size of the dot above this “i.”

During the normal development, these embryonic stem cells will begin to give rise to other cells that begin to develop into the entire body. This means the embryonic stem cells are responsible for creating our organs and tissues in the early stages.

Tissue Specific Stem Cells

Tissue-specific stem cells are commonly referred to as adult stem cells. These cells are more specific than other types of stem cells, especially embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are important because they recreate new cells for the areas where they reside.

For example, many tissues and organs need stem cells nearby to replace the cells that are lost in normal day-to-day activities. Think about your skin. Skin cells are always shedding and stem cells are standing by to replace the old ones with new.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Sometimes referred to as MSC, mesenchymal stem cells are the cells that exist in areas such as the bone marrow and are known to be capable of re-growing bone, cartilage, and fat cells.

MSCs have been grown from other tissues, such as fat and cord blood. Various MSCs are thought to have stem cell, and even immunomodulatory, properties and are being tested as treatments for a great many disorders

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced Pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells are manmade from converting tissue-specific cells, such as those skin cells, into other stem cells. Once they are created in a lab these stem cells act like embryonic stem cells

This type of stem cell is critical for scientists to understand more about human development as well as diseases. IPS cells are also helpful with testing new drugs and different types of treatments.

These cells may act like embryonic cells, where they can turn into any type of cell in the body. However, they are far from the same cell.

At this time researchers are finding alternate methods of creating iPS cells so that they can be used as a source for many medical treatments.


(2015). Types of Stem Cells [Blog ]. Retrieved from