Caption: Human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) differentiating on a fibroblast matrix in culture. Note the 2 cells appear neuron-like in cell morphology with numerous dendrite-like processes. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent stem cells that have the unique ability to differentiate into the cell lineages forming an entire organism. ESCs are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst (an early stage of the human embryo). They can differentiate into any of the 200 cell types of the human body depending on the type of biochemical growth signals they receive. Pluripotent stem cells are capable of self-renewal (perpetual cell division), can be cultivated in the undifferentiated state, and can be induced to differentiate in vitro into all different types of cells of the adult organism. Cell based therapies with embryonic, fetal, adult or induced pluripotent stem cells are thought to have great potential for the treatment of degenerative diseases. HESCs are being studied as a way to repair damaged tissue in diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's or to generate differentiated cells, tissues and organs for transplantation.
Magnification*: x260
Type: SEM
Copyright 2012 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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