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the last decade and highlighted the areas of active pursuit. Emerging trends and
patterns identified in the analysis are based on computational properties selected by
CiteSpace, which is designed to facilitate sense-making tasks of scientific frontiers
based on relevant domain literature.
Regenerative medicine is a fascinating and a fast-moving subject matter. As
information scientists, we have demonstrated a scientometric approach to tracking
the advance of the collective knowledge of a dynamic scientific community by
tapping into what experts in the domain have published in the literature and how
information and computational techniques can help us to discern patterns and trends
at various levels of abstraction, namely, cited references and clusters of co-cited
Based on the analysis of structural and temporal patterns of citations and co-
citations, we have identified two major emerging trends. The first one started in
2007 with pioneering works on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs),
including subsequently refined and alternative techniques for reprogramming. The
second one started in 2009 with an increasingly broad range of examinations
and re-examinations of previously unchallenged assumptions with clinical and
therapeutic implications on regenerative medicine, including tumorigenicity and
immunogenicity of iPSCs. It is worth noting that this expert opinion is solely based
on scientometric patterns revealed by CiteSpace without prior working experience
in the regenerative medicine field.
The referential expansion of the original topic search of regenerative medicine
has revealed a much wider spectrum of intellectual dynamics. The visual analysis of
the broader domain outlines the major milestones throughout the extensive period
of 2000-2011. Several indicators and observations converge to the critical and
active role of Cluster #7 on iPSCs. By tracing interrelationships along citation links
and citation bursts, visual analytic techniques of scientometrics are able to guide
our attention to some of the most vibrating and rapidly advancing research fronts
and identify the strategic significance of various challenges addressed by highly
specialized technical articles. The number of review articles on relevant topics is
rapidly increasing, which is also a sign that the knowledge of regenerative medicine
has been advancing rapidly. We expect that visual analytic tools as we utilized in this
review will play a more active role in supplement to traditional review and survey
articles. Visual analytic tools can be valuable in finding critical developments in the
vast amount of newly published studies.
The key findings of the regenerative medicine and related research over the last
decade have shown that regenerative medicine has become more and more feasible
in many areas and that it will ultimately revolutionize clinical and healthcare
practice and many aspects of our society. On the other hand, the challenges
ahead are enormous. The biggest challenge is probably related to the fact that
human beings are a complex system in that a local perturbation may lead to
unpredictable consequences in other parts of the system, which in turn may affect
the entire system. The state of the art in science and medicine has a long way to
go to handle such complex systems in a holistic way. Suppressing or activating a
seemingly isolated factor may have unforeseen consequences.
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