Introduction: Close to 5 million people in the USA are affected by chronic wounds, and billions of dollars are spent annually for their treatment. Despite advances in chronic wound management over the past decades, many patients afflicted with chronic wounds fail to heal or their ulcers recur. There is emerging evidence that the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) can offset this situation of impaired healing.
Areas covered: This article provides a review of the use of BM-MSC for the treatment of chronic wounds, the current development of stem cell delivery to chronic wounds and related challenges are also described in this manuscript.
Expert opinion: Numerous animal studies and a few pilot studies in human wounds have shown that BM-MSC can augment wound closure. Still, the primary contribution of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to cutaneous regeneration and the long-term systemic effects of MSCs are yet to be established. In addition, we need to determine whether other types of stem/progenitor cells will be more effective. Therefore, more randomized controlled clinical trials need to be undertaken. It is of importance to remember that even with the most advanced and sophisticated therapeutic approaches, proper wound care and adherence to basic principles remain critical.