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ISSN: 2153-0777

Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics
Open Access

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Editorial

Finally, A Routine Use for ES and iPS Cells

David T. Harris*
Department of Immunology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Corresponding Author : Dr. David T. Harris
Department of Immunology
University of Arizona Tucson
Arizona, USA
E-mail:
[email protected]
Received December 19, 2010; Accepted December 20, 2011; Published December 22, 2011
Citation: Harris DT (2011) Finally, A Routine Use for ES and iPS Cells. J Biochip Tissue chip 1:e103. doi:10.4172/2157-0777.1000e103
Copyright: © 2011 Harris DT. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

For more than a decade now the scientific community has been waiting for embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to mature from an interesting research observation to a useful clinical tool. Unfortunately, it has become readily apparent that there are many barriers to clinical implementation for both ES and iPS cells. Allogenicity and the threat of immune rejection by the host, the risk of teratogenicity and development of tumors in anatomical locations that would be life-threatening (e.g., the brain), and the time and cost involved to derive differentiated tissues for clinical use (estimated to be 6 months or more and in excess of $50,000 per tissue) have thwarted the rapid transition of these cells from the bench to the bedside. Although the use of iPS cells can alleviate the concern of immune rejection found with ES cells, it does not remove the other problems and reports of extensive genomic instability only serve to further limit this technology from clinical use. These issues have put this field under intense scrutiny which has increased costs as well as federal regulatory oversight. In fact, these difficulties have resulted in one of the major players in this field, Geron, to withdraw from these endeavors. It is doubtful that either ES or iPS cells would ever be given directly to patients, and it is very difficult to conceive of even bringing tissues and cells derived from either source to fruition for patient benefit (although some companies are trying).

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