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Scarless Fetal Wound Healing: A Basic Science Review

Larson, Barrett J. B.S.; Longaker, Michael T. M.D., M.B.A.; Lorenz, H. Peter M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 4 - p 1172-1180
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181eae781
Experimental: Scientific Reviews

Summary: Scar formation is a major medical problem that can have devastating consequences for patients. The adverse physiological and psychological effects of scars are broad, and there are currently no reliable treatments to prevent scarring. In contrast to adult wounds, early gestation fetal skin wounds repair rapidly and in the absence of scar formation. Despite extensive investigation, the exact mechanisms of scarless fetal wound healing remain largely unknown. For some time, it has been known that significant differences exist among the extracellular matrix, inflammatory response, cellular mediators, and gene expression profiles of fetal and postnatal wounds. These differences may have important implications in scarless wound repair.

Stanford, Calif.

From the Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Received for publication December 8, 2009; accepted February 25, 2010.

Disclosure: The authors have no commercial associations or financial disclosures that might pose or create a conflict of interest with information presented in this article.

H. Peter Lorenz, M.D.; Lucile Packard Children's Hospital; Stanford University School of Medicine; Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine; MC 5148; 257 Campus Drive; Stanford, Calif. 94305-5148;

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons