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Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2017 Sep 1;6(9):297-307. doi: 10.1089/wound.2017.0728.

Epidermal Stem Cells in Skin Wound Healing.

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Ben May Department for Cancer Research, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.


Significance: Skin serves as a protective barrier for mammals. Epidermal stem cells are responsible for maintaining skin homeostasis. When cutaneous injuries occur, skin homeostasis and integrity are damaged, leading to dire consequences such as acute, chronic, or infected wounds. Skin wound healing is an intrinsic self-saving chain reaction, which is crucial to facilitating the replacement of damaged or lost tissue. Recent Advances: An immense amount of research has uncovered the underlying mechanisms behind the complex and highly regulated wound healing process. In this review, we will dissect the biological process of adult skin wound healing and emphasize the importance of epidermal stem cells during the wound healing. Critical Issues: We will comprehensively discuss the current clinical practices used on patients with cutaneous wounds, including both traditional skin grafting procedures and advanced grafting techniques with cultured skin stem cells. The majority of these leading techniques still retain some deficiencies during clinical use. Moreover, the regeneration of skin appendages after severe injuries remains a challenge in treatment. Future Directions: Understanding epidermal stem cells and their essential functions during skin wound healing are fundamental components behind the development of clinical treatment on patients with cutaneous wounds. It is important to improve the current standard of care and to develop novel techniques improving patient outcomes and long-term rehabilitation, which should be the goals of future endeavors in the field of skin wound healing.


epidermal stem cells; skin; tissue regeneration; wound repair

Conflict of interest statement

No competing financial interests exist. The content of this article was expressly written by the author(s) listed. No ghostwriters were used to write this article.

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