We are now well entering the exciting era of stem cells. Potential stem cell therapy holds great promise for the treatment of many diseases such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral-sclerosis, myocardial infarction, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and etc. It is generally believed that transplantation of specific stem cells into the injured tissue to replace the lost cells is an effective way to repair the tissue. In fact, organ transplantation has been successfully practiced in clinics for liver or kidney failure. However, the severe shortage of donor organs has been a major obstacle for the expansion of organ transplantation programs. Toward that direction, generation of transplantable organs using stem cells is a desirable approach for organ replacement and would be of great interest for both basic and clinical scientists. Here we review recent progress in the field of organ generation using various methods including single adult tissue stem cells, a blastocyst complementation system, tissue decellularization/recellularization and a combination of stem cells and tissue engineering.
Keywords: Blastocyst complementation; Decellularization; Functional organs; Recellularization; Stem cells; Tissue engineering.