Results & Uses
Skin regeneration following wounding is an essential process in maintaining tissue homeostasis and preventing infection. However, the natural process of healing is disrupted in many pathological conditions, resulting in chronic wounds that remain open for months, or even years. Chronic wounds are a common and costly complication of diabetes that lower the quality of life and often lead to limb amputation and increased morbidity. As diabetes mellitus currently affects 366 million people worldwide, and the incidence of diabetes in the aging North American population continues to rise, chronic wound care will place a mounting strain on the already stressed health-care systems. The underlying pathology of impaired wound healing is not fully understood. Stem cell therapy research suggests that morphogenic factors secreted by stem cells can positively influence tissue repair at the site of transplantation. This notion is supported by the well-documented ability of embryos to heal scarlessly at early stages of development. Thus, the ability to harness the benefit of stem cell paracrine factors in a cell-free therapy could serve as a novel regenerative therapy for a large number of tissue ailments and injuries.