Therapeutic potential of endogenous stem cells and cellular factors for scar-free skin regeneration

Drug Discov Today. 2019 Jan;24(1):69-84. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.10.014. Epub 2018 Nov 5.


Injured human skin fails to regenerate, resulting in scar formation. Annually, 100 million new skin-scarring incidents, occurring as a result of surgery, disease, burns, or sports-related damage, remain untreated. Here, we review knowledge gained from scar-free experimental animal models that have natural regenerative mechanisms for scar-free skin recovery. We also focus on the unique role of endogenous stem cells and other cellular and molecular factors, including the balance of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway in the context of human skin regeneration. This new strategy opens a new window in drug development for scar-free skin regeneration treatments in both the clinical and cosmetic practice settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cicatrix
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Regeneration*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*