The prospect of personalized regenerative medicine promises to provide treatments for a wide range of degenerative diseases and medical conditions. An important first step in attaining this goal is the production of pluripotent stem cells directly from individual patients, thereby providing autologous material which, after correcting intrinsic genetic defects and differentiation into required cell types or tissues, could be transplanted into the patient. This chapter reviews the current progress towards this first step, focusing on the techniques used to generate pluripotent cells, the advantages that each offers and the challenges that must be overcome.
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