A mouse fetal skin model of scarless wound repair

J Vis Exp. 2015 Jan 16:(95):52297. doi: 10.3791/52297.


Early in utero, but not in postnatal life, cutaneous wounds undergo regeneration and heal without formation of a scar. Scarless fetal wound healing occurs across species but is age dependent. The transition from a scarless to scarring phenotype occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy in humans and around embryonic day 18 (E18) in mice. However, this varies with the size of the wound with larger defects generating a scar at an earlier gestational age. The emergence of lineage tracing and other genetic tools in the mouse has opened promising new avenues for investigation of fetal scarless wound healing. However, given the inherently high rates of morbidity and premature uterine contraction associated with fetal surgery, investigations of fetal scarless wound healing in vivo require a precise and reproducible surgical model. Here we detail a reliable model of fetal scarless wound healing in the dorsum of E16.5 (scarless) and E18.5 (scarring) mouse embryos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology
  • Cicatrix / embryology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Skin / embryology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin