Adipose-derived stem cells improve grafted burn wound healing by promoting wound bed blood flow

Osamu Fujiwara, Anesh Prasai, Dannelys Perez-Bello, Amina El Ayadi, Irene Y. Petrov, Rinat O. Esenaliev, Yuriy Petrov, David N. Herndon, Celeste C. Finnerty, Donald S. Prough, Perenlei Enkhbaatar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Researchers have explored the use of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) as a cell-based therapy to cover wounds in burn patients; however, underlying mechanistic aspects are not completely understood. We hypothesized that ASCs would improve post-burn wound healing after eschar excision and grafting by increasing wound blood flow via induction of angiogenesis-related pathways. Methods: To test the hypothesis, we used an ovine burn model. A 5 cm2 full thickness burn wound was induced on each side of the dorsum. After 24 hours, the burned skin was excised and a 2 cm2 patch of autologous donor skin was grafted. The wound sites were randomly allocated to either topical application of 7 million allogeneic ASCs or placebo treatment (phosphate-buffered saline [PBS]). Effects of ASCs culture media was also compared to those of PBS. Wound healing was assessed at one and two weeks following the application of ASCs. Allogeneic ASCs were isolated, cultured and characterized from non-injured healthy sheep. The identity of the ASCs was confirmed by flow cytometry analysis, differentiation into multiple lineages and gene expression via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Wound blood flow, epithelialization, graft size and take and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot. Results: Treatment with ASCs accelerated the patch graft growth compared to the control (p < 0.05). Topical application of ASCs significantly increased wound blood flow (p < 0.05). Expression of VEGF was significantly higher in the wounds treated with ASCs compared to control (p < 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbert/tkaa009
JournalBurns and Trauma
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Emergency Medicine


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