Skin regeneration with all accessory organs following ablation with irreversible electroporation

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Jan;12(1):98-113. doi: 10.1002/term.2374. Epub 2017 May 23.


Skin scar formation is a complex process that results in the formation of dense extracellular matrix (ECM) without normal skin appendages such as hair and glands. The absence of a scarless healing model in adult mammals prevents the development of successful therapies. We show that irreversible electroporation of skin drives its regeneration with all accessory organs in normal adult rats. Pulsed electric fields at 500 V, with 70 μs pulse duration and 1000 pulses delivered at 3 Hz, applied through two electrodes separated by 2 mm lead to massive cell death. However, the ECM architecture of the skin was preserved. Six months after the ablation, the epidermis, sebaceous glands, panniculus carnosus, hair follicles, microvasculature and arrector pili muscle were altogether re-formed in the entire ablated area. These results suggest a key role of the ECM architecture in the differentiation, migration and signalling of cells during scarless wound healing. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: electroporation; extracellular matrix; pulsed electric field; regeneration; scar; scarless; skin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrodes
  • Electroporation / methods*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Female
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Regeneration*
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Wound Healing