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Stem cells and chronic wound healing: state of the art

Authors Leavitt T, Hu M, Marshall C, Barnes L, Longaker M, Lorenz P

Received 16 October 2015

Accepted for publication 16 December 2015

Published 2 March 2016 Volume 2016:3 Pages 7—27


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Marco Romanelli

Tripp Leavitt, Michael S Hu, Clement D Marshall, Leandra A Barnes, Michael T Longaker, H Peter Lorenz

Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Abstract: Currently available treatments for chronic wounds are inadequate. A clearly effective therapy does not exist, and treatment is often supportive. This is largely because the cellular and molecular processes underlying failure of wound repair are still poorly understood. With an increase in comorbidities, such as diabetes and vascular disease, as well as an aging population, the incidence of these intractable wounds is expected to rise. As such, chronic wounds, which are already costly, are rapidly growing as a tremendous burden to the health-care system. Stem cells have garnered much interest as a therapy for chronic wounds due to their inherent ability to differentiate into multiple lineages and promote regeneration. Herein, we discuss the types of stem cells used for chronic wound therapy, as well as the proposed means by which they do so. In particular, we highlight mesenchymal stem cells (including adipose-derived stem cells), endothelial progenitor cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. We include the results of recent in vitro and in vivo studies in both animal models and human clinical trials. Finally, we discuss the current studies to improve stem cell therapies and the limitations of stem cell-based therapeutics. Stem cells promise improved therapies for healing chronic wounds, but further studies that are well-designed with standardized protocols are necessary for fruition.

Keywords: stem cells, chronic wounds, cell therapy, wound healing

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