Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Isolation, Characterization and Applications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.65434-X


Hematopoietic stem cells are the cells that continuously generate all the necessary hematopoietic cells. Many of these are both short-lived and essential. The existence of hematopoietic stem cells was established well over half a century ago, and clinical use followed quickly. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, either autologous or allogeneic, has become a standard treatment option in oncology. For hematopoietic malignancies replacing the hematopoietic system can be curative. More intensive treatment is enabled by hematopoietic transplant for nonhematopoietic malignancies. Use for other indications has lagged due to transplant-associated complications.

This article discusses various aspects of hematopoietic stem cells, from the origin of the cells during ontogeny, characteristic properties that distinguish hematopoietic stem cells, factors that control their fate and sources and methods for isolation of these cells. The chapter also discusses therapeutic applications, both standard applications such as cancer treatment but also emerging applications such as autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases, gene therapy and tolerance induction. Looking forward the chapter discusses some of the ongoing efforts to improve hematopoietic graft composition and origin, as well as efforts to improve the engraftment process. All of these efforts are aimed at continuing and expanding the amazing success story of hematopoietic stem cells in treatment, a very successful example of regenerative medicine in routine use.

Journal Title

Encyclopedia of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

First Page


Last Page



Allogeneic; Autoimmune disease; Autologous; Bone Marrow; Cancer; Graft versus host disease; Graft versus leukemia; Hematopoietic cell transplant; Hematopoietic stem cell; Histocompatibility; Hypoplastic syndromes; Metabolic disease; Mobilized peripheral blood; Tolerance induction; Umbilical Cord Blood

Library Record