A Shadow of Knowledge in Stem Cell Science

Document Type : Commentary


1 Department of Regenerative Medicine, Cell science research center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

2 Karolinska Institute

3 Department of Traumatology, Siegfried Weller Institute, University of Tubingen, BG Tubingen, 72076, Tubingen, Germany

4 Laboratory of Pediatric Hepatology and Cell Therapy, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research (IREC), UC Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

5 Department of Regenerative Medicine, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

6 Experimental Cancer Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden


"Theory of Forms" implies that a genuine version of creatures exists beyond the shapes in this world. Stem cell
technology has adopted developmental cues to mimic real life. However, the functionality of the lab-made cells is far
from primary ones. Perhaps it is time to switch from analytical to systematic perspective in stem cell science. This
may be the way to define new horizons based on the systematic perspective and convergence of science in stem cell
biology, bridging the current gap between the shadows of real knowledge in current research and reality in future.


Main Subjects

  1. Dancy RM. Plato’s introduction of forms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2004.
  2. Ross WD. Plato’s theory of ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1951.
  3. Rossant J, Tam PPL. Early human embryonic development: Blastocyst formation to gastrulation. Dev Cell. 2022; 57(2): 152-165.
  4. Vosough M, Omidinia E, Kadivar M, Shokrgozar MA, Pournasr B, Aghdami N, et al. Generation of functional hepatocyte-like cells from human pluripotent stem cells in a scalable suspension culture. Stem Cells Dev. 2013; 22(20): 2693-2705.
  5. Zakrzewski W, DobrzyƄski M, Szymonowicz M, Rybak Z. Stem cells: past, present, and future. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019; 10(1): 68.
  6. Zahmatkesh E, Ghanian MH, Zarkesh I, Farzaneh Z, Halvaei M, Heydari Z, et al. Tissue-specific microparticles improve organoid microenvironment for efficient maturation of pluripotent stem-cellderived hepatocytes. Cells. 2021; 10(6): 1274.
  7. Riemens RJM, van den Hove DLA, Esteller M, Delgado-Morales R. Directing neuronal cell fate in vitro: achievements and challenges. Prog Neurobiol. 2018; 168: 42-68.
  8. Rouleau N, Murugan NJ, Kaplan DL. Toward studying cognition in a dish. Trends Cogn Sci. 2021; 25(4): 294-304.
  9. Liu G, David BT, Trawczynski M, Fessler RG. Advances in pluripotent stem cells: history, mechanisms, technologies, and applications. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2020; 16(1): 3-32.
  10. Jones RH. Reductionism: analysis and the fullness of reality. Bucknell University Press; 2000.
  11. Marshall A. The unity of nature: wholeness and disintegration in ecology and science. London: Imperial College Press; 2002.
  12. Yue R, Dutta A. Computational systems biology in disease modeling and control, review and perspectives. NPJ Syst Biol Appl. 2022; 8(1): 37.
  13. Camacho DM, Collins KM, Powers RK, Costello JC, Collins JJ. Next-generation machine learning for biological networks. Cell. 2018; 173(7): 1581-1592.
  14. Bhardwaj A, Kishore S, Pandey DK. Artificial intelligence in biological sciences. Life (Basel). 2022; 12(9): 1430.
  15. Mazzocchi F. Could big data be the end of theory in science? A few remarks on the epistemology of data-driven science. EMBO Rep. 2015; 16(10): 1250-1255.
  16. Kim J, Koo BK, Knoblich JA. Human organoids: model systems for human biology and medicine. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2020; 21(10): 571-584.
  17. Zahmatkesh E, Khoshdel-Rad N, Mirzaei H, Shpichka A, Timashev P, Mahmoudi T, et al. Evolution of organoid technology: lessons learnt in co-culture systems from developmental biology. Dev Biol. 2021; 475: 37-53.
  18. Heydari Z, Moeinvaziri F, Agarwal T, Pooyan P, Shpichka A, Maiti TK, et al. Organoids: a novel modality in disease modeling. Biodes Manuf. 2021; 4(4): 689-716.
  19. Ingber DE. Human organs-on-chips for disease modelling, drug development and personalized medicine. Nat Rev Genet. 2022; 23(8): 467-491.
  20. Ramezankhani R, Solhi R, Chai YC, Vosough M, Verfaillie C. Organoid and microfluidics-based platforms for drug screening in COVID-19. Drug Discov Today. 2022; 27(4): 1062-1076.
  21. Pieters VM, Co IL, Wu NC, McGuigan AP. Applications of omics technologies for three-dimensional in vitro disease models. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2021; 27(3): 183-199.