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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 790234, 11 pages
Review Article

Cellular and Molecular Characteristics of Scarless versus Fibrotic Wound Healing

1Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Allegheny General Hospital, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Allegheny Campus, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA

Received 27 March 2010; Accepted 24 November 2010

Academic Editor: Hayes B. Gladstone

Copyright © 2010 Latha Satish and Sandeep Kathju. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the discrete biology differentiating fetal wound repair from its adult counterpart. Integumentary wound healing in mammalian fetuses is essentially different from wound healing in adult skin. Adult (postnatal) skin wound healing is a complex and well-orchestrated process spurred by attendant inflammation that leads to wound closure with scar formation. In contrast, fetal wound repair occurs with minimal inflammation, faster re-epithelialization, and without the accumulation of scar. Although research into scarless healing began decades ago, the critical molecular mechanisms driving the process of regenerative fetal healing remain uncertain. Understanding the molecular and cellular events during regenerative healing may provide clues that one day enable us to modulate adult wound healing and consequently reduce scarring.