Human embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst stage of a human embryo. These cells are pluripotent, which means they are able to differentiate into every cell type in the body and therefore have the possibility to differentiate into all three germ layers Mesoderm, Ecoderm and Endoderm. Human embryonic stem cells can be used for cell replacement therapies e.g. cardiomyocytes, pancreatic islet cells, neurons and bone marrow cells.
Author: Kelly Blust (ESR11)