Skin is the main organ that covers the human body and acts as a protective barrier between the human body and the environment. Skin tissue as a stem cell source can be used for transplantation in therapeutic application in terms of its properties such as abundant, easy to access, high plasticity and high ability to regenerate. The immunological profile of these cells makes it a suitable resource for autologous and allogeneic applications. The lack of major histo-compatibility complex 1 is also advantageous in its use. Epidermal stem cells are the main stem cells in the skin and are suitable cells in tissue engineering studies for their important role in wound repair. In the last 30 years, many studies have been conducted to develop substitutions that mimic human skin. Stem cell-based skin substitutions have been developed to be used in clinical applications, to support the healing of acute and chronic wounds and as test systems for dermatological and pharmacological applications. In this chapter, tissue specific properties of epidermal stem cells, composition of their niche, regenerative approaches and repair of tissue degeneration have been examined.
Keywords: Epidermal stem cells; Niche; Skin; Stem cells; Tissue engineering.