Stem cell therapies for wound healing

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2019 Jun;19(6):575-585. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2019.1596257. Epub 2019 Apr 11.


Introduction: Aberrant wound healing is a significant healthcare problem, posing a substantial burden on patients, their families, and the healthcare system. Existing treatment options remain only moderately effective and often fail to promote the closure of non-healing wounds in susceptible populations, such as aging and diabetic patients. Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising treatment modality, with the potential to restore tissue to its pre-injured state. Of particular interest are mesenchymal stromal cells, which have been shown to accelerate wound healing by modulating the immune response and promoting angiogenesis.

Areas covered: This review provides an overview of wound healing and current methods for the management of chronic wounds, as well as the current state and considerations for optimizing stem cell therapy. Considerations include stem cell types, tissue source, donor selection, cell heterogeneity, delivery methods, and genetic engineering.

Expert opinion: A growing body of evidence has shown that delivery of stem cells, particularly mesenchymal stromal cells, has the potential to effectively improve the rate and quality of wound healing. However, significant additional basic and clinical research must be performed to optimize cell therapy, such as further elucidation of the therapeutic mechanisms of stem cells and standardization of clinical trial guidelines.

Keywords: Adipose stem cells; cellular heterogeneity; chronic wounds; genetic engineering; mesenchymal stromal cells; stem cells; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Wound Healing*


  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Receptors, CXCR4