Nature 414, 118-121 (1 November 2001) | doi:10.1038/35102181

Stem cells in tissue engineering

Paolo Bianco1 & Pamela Gehron Robey2


The concept of producing 'spare parts' of the body for replacement of damaged or lost organs lies at the core of the varied biotechnological practices referred to generally as tissue engineering. Use of postnatal stem cells has the potential to significantly alter the perspective of tissue engineering. Successful long-term restoration of continuously self-renewing tissues such as skin, for example, depends on the use of extensively self-renewing stem cells. The identification and isolation of stem cells from a number of tissues provides appropriate targets for prospective gene therapies.

  1. Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Patologia, Universita 'La Sapienza', Viale Regina Elena 324, Roma 00161, Italy
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  2. Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 30 Convent Drive MSC 4320, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
    (e-mail: Email: