Response of Fetal Tissue to Wounding

  • Timothy M. Crombleholme


Until the advent of obstetrical ultrasound, the womb shielded the fetus from both observation and intervention. This technology has made possible the prenatal diagnosis of a broad range of structural anomalies and the definition of their natural history, as well as offering the opportunity for fetal surgical intervention.1 As a result an empiric observation was make from clinical fetal surgery that the midgestation human fetus heals without scarring.2 This confirmed a previous observation by Rowlatt3 that the human fetus heals by mesenchymal regeneration without scar formation. These observations sparked experimental studies in fetal wound healing in animal models ranging from rats to rhesus monkeys, which consistently demonstrated distinct differences between fetal and adult wound healing.4 Although the fundamental nature of these differences remains ill-defined, factors in three areas are likely to contribute to them, including differences in the fetal environment, fetal cells, and the fetal extracellular matrix.5


Hyaluronic Acid Fetal Tissue Incisional Wound Fetal Fibroblast Fetal Skin 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Timothy M. Crombleholme

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