Researchers here report an interesting application of in situ cell programming. Knowing that keratinocytes do a lot of the heavy lifting in the coordination of skin healing, they reprogrammed cells at the surface of non-healing wounds, transforming them into keratinocytes capable of guiding the regeneration of skin. This is thought to be a way to aid healing in older individuals, or in other cases where chronic inflammation disrupts the normal processes of regeneration. Certainly this approach is notable for regenerating the full structure of skin, something that has only been achieved by one or two other methodologies to date.
Scientists have developed a technique to directly convert the cells in an open wound into new skin cells. The approach relies on reprogramming the cells to a stem-cell-like state and could be useful for healing skin damage, countering the effects of aging and helping us to better understand skin cancer. “Our observations constitute an initial proof of principle for in vivo regeneration of an entire three-dimensional tissue like the skin, not just individual cell types as previously shown.”
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