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DNA Editing the Reconstructive Ladder

Roh, Danny S., M.D., Ph.D.; Li, Edward B.-H., B.A.; Liao, Eric C., M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2018 - Volume 142 - Issue 5 - p 1355–1364
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004863
Plastic Surgery Focus: Regenerative Medicine
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Summary: The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system of genome editing represents a major technological advance spanning all areas of genetics and downstream applications. CRISPR’s potential impact on treating human disease encompasses all clinical specialties, including areas important to the plastic surgeon such as oncology, wound healing, immunology, and craniofacial malformations. Plastic surgeons should gain familiarity with this gene editing technology, and become active contributors and leaders in applying CRISPR to their respective areas of expertise. This review describes the history and basic mechanism of CRISPR genome editing, highlights current and future applications, and discusses limitations. The authors will consider CRISPR’s potential impact and use in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Boston, Mass.

From Harvard Medical School; the Center for Regenerative Medicine; the Harvard Stem Cell Institute; and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Received for publication August 23, 2017; accepted May 16, 2018.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

A “Hot Topic Video” by Editor-in-Chief Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., accompanies this article. Go to and click on “Plastic Surgery Hot Topics” in the “Digital Media” tab to watch.

Eric C. Liao, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, Wang 435, Boston, Mass. 02114,

©2018American Society of Plastic Surgeons