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Stem Cell Therapies for Wound Healing

  • Ayman Grada
  • Vincent Falanga
Chapter
Part of the Recent Clinical Techniques, Results, and Research in Wounds book series

Abstract

The number of individuals suffering from chronic cutaneous wounds has been increasing worldwide due to an increase in comorbidities such as vascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and aging population. In the USA, almost seven million Americans have chronic cutaneous ulcers. Moreover, chronic wound management is costly and present a substantial economic burden to the healthcare system. Various therapeutic modalities have been used. However, the treatment outcomes are not always satisfactory because of failure to achieve complete wound closure in around 60% of cases, high rate of recurrence, and scarring. Therefore, there is a need for more effective therapies. Stem cells offer promising possibilities. Preclinical studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have a competitive advantage over other types of stem cells due to their better defined potency, paracrine effects, immunomodulatory properties, and safety. For now, multipotent stem cells have a definite advantage in being used for the acceleration of healing. This has to do with their generally favorable risk/benefit ratio. Still, we do not reject the notion that pluripotent stem cells may find an extraordinary role in wound healing. When properly handled and controlled, such cells could be directed toward diverse differentiation pathways that might bring the field of tissue repair closer to regeneration or true wound healing. Large well-controlled clinical trials are needed to examine the capabilities of stem cells in humans and assess their safety profile. Herein, we highlight emerging treatments in tissue regeneration and repair and provide some perspectives on how to translate current knowledge about stem cells, both multipotent and pluripotent, into viable clinical approaches for treating patients with difficult to heal wounds.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology,Boston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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