Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


In the US there is a growing prevalence of chronic wounds such as such as leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers. These wounds persist for long periods of time and are expensive to manage. Improved human-based model systems that emulate the wound healing process in humans would accelerate the identification of novel healing strategies that are directly translatable to humans. The goal of this study was to develop a novel wound model able to imitate the human wound healing process. To do this, 8mm punch biopsies were taken from human abdominoplasty samples and 2mm wounds were created in the center of the punches. Punch biopsies were maintained in transwells at the air-liquid interface. The viability of the model was confirmed by Mn staining and the structure evaluated with H&E staining. Two approaches to induce wound healing, Adipose Derived Stem Cells {ASC) and Red Light Therapy (RLT), were investigated. It was found that the human tissue wound models were able to persist for at least 4 months without "wound" closure. H&E staining demonstrated that they maintained normal skin structure and Mnindicated that the tissues were alive. ASCs were isolated from fat and their purity and ability to differentiate were confirmed by flow cytometry and differentiation assays. Whereas ASC or RLT were able to partially close the wounds, a combination of ASC and RLT resulted in wound expansion. However, this latter result may have been due to bacterial contamination. These wound models could revolutionize wound healing studies because they are derived from human skin and maintain their integrity. In the future, we will confirm the degree to which they replicate chronic wounds and determine the efficacy of novel stem cell, RLT, human skin equivalent, and other growth-factor based treatments to mediate wound closure.