What are the 4 different types of stem cells?

Louis A. Cona M.D.

The article will explain what a stem cell is & the 4 different types of cells.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are the substructure for every tissue and organ in the human body. There are a variety of  stem cells that come from different places in the body.  These stem cells can also be formed at different times in ones life. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development & different types of tissue-specific (adult) stem cells that appear during development and remain in ones bodies throughout life.

All stem cells have self renewal capabilities (make copies of themselves) and evolve (develop into more specialized cells). Beyond these two critical abilities, though, stem cells vary widely in their regenerative abilities. Due to this fact, researchers use a variety of stem cells in their investigations and clinical trials.

1.  Embryonic stem cells

This type of stem cell is obtained from the inner mass of the blastocyst, a hollow body of cells that in humans will form 3 to 5 days after an egg cell is fertilized by a single sperm.  

The cells inside the inner mass will give way to more specialized cells within the human body (our tissues and organs).  But, when scientists extract that inner cell mass they are able to retain the initial properties of embryonic stem cells when grown in specialized laboratory conditions.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, this means that they can give way to  every cell type in the fully formed body, but not the placenta and umbilical cord. These cells are incredibly valuable because they provide a renewable resource for studying normal development and disease, and for testing drugs and other therapies. Human embryonic stem cells have been derived primarily from blastocysts created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for assisted reproduction that were no longer needed.

2.  Tissue derived stem cells

Also referred to as somatic or adult stem cells are much more specialised than embryonic stem cells.  These stem cells can create a multitude of different cell types for the specific organ in which they originate from.

Tissue-specific stem cells are difficult to locate in the human body. They don’t seem to multiply in culture as easily as embryonic stem cells do. However, study of these cells have increased our understanding of normal human development, how we age and what happens to the body when we are physically injured.

3.  Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Also referred to as MSCs; these are cells that are isolated from the stroma (connective tissue that surrounds other organs & tissue).  Mesenchymal Stem Cells are also sometimes referred to as "stromal cells" by scientists.  

Initially MSCs were discovered in bone marrow and have been proved to create bone, fat cells & cartilage.  Today, they can be grown from other tissues as well such as; fat, cord blood & cord tissue.  Not all MSCs are the same, in fact, their characteristics depend on the location in the body that they are grown from.

4. Induced pluripotent stem cells

Also known as iPS; induced pluripotent stem cells are cells that have been engineered in the lab by the conversion of tissue-specific cells (skin cells, etc.) into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells.  

iPS differs from embryonic stem cells in a few ways.  Firstly, iPS cells were originally produced by using viruses to insert additional copies of genes into tissue specific cells. Secondly they are used by scientists to learn more about disease onset and progression; rather than supplement existing human cells.

DVC Stem uses umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells that are ethically sourced from Vitrobiopharma in Golden Colorado, USA.

DVC Stem, based at The Da Vinci Centre and is fully licensed and inspected by the government of the Cayman Islands. As a British Overseas Territory, healthcare regulations are extremely strict, on par with the US, UK, and EU. Additionally, our entire medical staff is fully registered and licensed, and our stem cell protocols are IRB reviewed and approved by a board in the United States.  Learn more about how stem cells by submitting the form below.


Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid


2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.


Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."


5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months post treatment

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

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