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Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 383581, 7 pages
Review Article

Stem Cell-Based Therapeutics to Improve Wound Healing

1Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
3Department of Surgery, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
4Section of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria

Received 21 July 2015; Revised 13 October 2015; Accepted 15 October 2015

Academic Editor: Nicolo Scuderi

Copyright © 2015 Michael S. Hu et al. 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.


Issues surrounding wound healing have garnered deep scientific interest as well as booming financial markets invested in novel wound therapies. Much progress has been made in the field, but it is unsurprising to find that recent successes reveal new challenges to be addressed. With regard to wound healing, large tissue deficits, recalcitrant wounds, and pathological scar formation remain but a few of our most pressing challenges. Stem cell-based therapies have been heralded as a promising means by which to surpass current limitations in wound management. The wide differentiation potential of stem cells allows for the possibility of restoring lost or damaged tissue, while their ability to immunomodulate the wound bed from afar suggests that their clinical applications need not be restricted to direct tissue formation. The clinical utility of stem cells has been demonstrated across dozens of clinical trials in chronic wound therapy, but there is hope that other aspects of wound care will inherit similar benefit. Scientific inquiry into stem cell-based wound therapy abounds in research labs around the world. While their clinical applications remain in their infancy, the heavy investment in their potential makes it a worthwhile subject to review for plastic surgeons, in terms of both their current and future applications.