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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Jun;132(6):1707-16. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.31. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

The use of human sweat gland-derived stem cells for enhancing vascularization during dermal regeneration.

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Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology, EMB, Lübeck, Germany.


Vascularization is a key process in tissue engineering and regeneration and represents one of the most important issues in the field of regenerative medicine. Thus, several strategies to improve vascularization are currently under clinical evaluation. In this study, stem cells derived from human sweat glands were isolated, characterized, seeded in collagen scaffolds, and engrafted in a mouse full skin defect model for dermal regeneration. Results showed that these cells exhibit high proliferation rates and express stem cell and differentiation markers. Moreover, cells responded to angiogenic environments by increasing their migration (P<0.001) and proliferation (P<0.05) capacity and forming capillary-like structures. After seeding in the scaffolds, cells distributed homogeneously, interacting directly with the scaffold, and released bioactive molecules involved in angiogenesis, immune response, and tissue remodeling. In vivo, scaffolds containing cells were used to induce dermal regeneration. Here we have found that the presence of the cells significantly improved vascularization (P<0.001). As autologous sweat gland-derived stem cells are easy to obtain, exhibit a good proliferation capacity, and improve vascularization during dermal regeneration, we suggest that the combined use of sweat gland-derived stem cells and scaffolds for dermal regeneration might improve dermal regeneration in future clinical settings.

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