Fractional laser-assisted administration of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells to reduce hypertrophic scars in rabbit ears

Lasers Surg Med. 2022 Apr;54(4):554-564. doi: 10.1002/lsm.23508. Epub 2021 Dec 28.


Background: The formation of hypertrophic scar is due to the abnormal accumulation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix, especially collagen tissue. Our research was designed to investigate the treatment effect of different administrations of human umbilical cord-derived stem cells and to hypertrophic scars on rabbit ears.

Methods: Thirty New Zealand female white rabbits were treated as hypertrophic scar models. PBS was injected into the scars on the right ear of each group as control, while human umbilical cord-derived stem cells or condition medium of human umbilical cord-derived stem cells were administrated into the left ear through subcutaneous injection or fractional laser-assisted administration. Gross examination, scar elevation index (SEI) calculation and sampling were executed 5 weeks after administration. Then H&E and Masson staining analysis and the expression levels detections of α-SMA, Collagen I, TGF-β1, IL-1β, and IL-6 were performed.

Results: Our results demonstrated that the severity of hyperplasia was lower than the model group after stem cells and conditioned medium treatment. H&E and Masson staining results showed that the inflammation in scars was greatly alleviated and the degree of fibrosis was reduced after treatment. There was no significant difference in the therapeutic effect between subcutaneous injection or fractional laser-assisted administration. Both stem cells and conditioned medium can down-regulate SEI and factors expression levels in all groups. However, compared with the stem cells, the therapeutic effects of the conditioned medium were lower.

Conclusions: The results confirmed that stem cells had an available treatment effect on hypertrophic scars of rabbit ears. In addition to the paracrine pathway, stem cells may have other ways to treat hypertrophic scars. Fractional laser-assisted administration may become a potential administration of stem cell clinical application in the future.

Keywords: cellular therapy; fractional laser; hypertrophic scar; stem cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic* / pathology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic* / therapy
  • Collagen
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Rabbits
  • Umbilical Cord / metabolism
  • Umbilical Cord / pathology


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Collagen