Developing products and techniques that reduce scarring

In the future, it is increasingly likely that specific treatment modalities will be targeted to individuals to promote tissue repair and synthesize replacement skin without scarring. The whole process of healing and scarring is not yet fully understood but many aspects are being unravelled. Because the wound healing process is so complex, trying to find one or two elements that can influence the process is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, with the implementation of computers and robots into technologies, there are small companies who would be up for the challenge and ultimately may find out the answer. Recently stem cells with adult epidermal cell markers have been found in the foetal skin dermis. These cells are thought to play a role in scarless foetal wound healing (Hu et al. 2014). Further studies in differences between foetal and adult skin-specific stem cells may elucidate the mechanisms of scarless wound healing in the early fetus. With this knowledge, the potential to reduce scarring in adult wounds may be achieved. This research also includes building sophisticated scaffolds to replace lost tissue and to integrate appropriate stem cells within the scaffold (Larson et al. 2010). Stem cells have the ability to migrate to the site of injury or inflammation, participate in regeneration of damaged tissue, stimulate proliferation and differentiation of resident progenitor cells, and secrete growth factors, thereby increasing angiogenesis, inhibiting scar formation, and improving tensile strength of the wound. These sophisticated tissue engineering approaches, alongside gene therapy which can stimulate and regulate cellular differentiation, shows huge promise in the field of regenerative medicine and for wound therapy (Branski et al. 2009; Gauglitz and Jeschke 2011).

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