Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Wound Healing Applications
Nonhealing wounds remain a significant challenge for plastic surgeons. More than 600,000 people suffer from venous ulcers and 1.5 to 3 million people are being treated for pressure sores every year in the United States. The use of tissue engineering techniques such as stem-cell therapy and gene therapy to improve wound healing is a promising strategy. Adipose tissue represents a source of cells that may be able to enhance wound healing. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are adult stem cells that are easily harvested and of great interest for plastic surgeons. Specifically, ASCs secrete angiogenic growth factors that can induce tissue regeneration. This review describes innovative research strategies using ASCs therapies for treatment of chronic, nonhealing wounds.