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Stem cells are self-renewing cells capable of differentiating into multiple cell lines and are classified according to their origin and their ability to differentiate. Enormous potential exists in use of stem cells for regenerative medicine. To produce effective stem cell–based treatments for a range of diseases, an improved understanding of stem cell biology and better control over stem cell fate are necessary. In addition, the barriers to clinical translation, such as potential oncologic properties of stem cells, need to be addressed. With renewed government support and continued refinement of current stem cell methodologies, the future of stem cell research is exciting and promises to provide novel reconstructive options for patients and surgeons limited by traditional paradigms.