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Introduction


The potential use of stem cells in transplantation for the purpose of tissue regeneration is an exciting area of research currently undergoing rapid development. Implantation of human embryonic or autologous, ex vivo-expanded adult stem cells, particularly in older individuals, could circumvent the limited availability of organs/tissues as well as prevent complications related to immune rejection and disease transmission. Musculoskeletal tissue degeneration is closely associated with aging. Strategies employing autologous adult MSCs from older individuals for transplantation in order to regenerate their own ailing organ or tissues require that we vigorously define MSCs capacity to maintain growth potential and differentiation potential into the desirable cell lineages. We are currently restricted by the limited knowledge about physical parameters, such as biomechanical forces, that influence MSC growth and differentiation capacities. This is particularly important for MSCs isolated from older individuals, for whom little information is available. This special volume aims to serve as an impetus in generating more interest among stem cell researchers and biotechnologists to improve and develop the cell-based therapies of damaged tissue using stem cells.




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