The skin is the largest organ of the body and has an array of functions. Skin compartments, epidermis, and hair follicles house stem cells that are indispensable for skin homeostasis and regeneration. These stem cells also contribute to wound repair, resulting in restoration of tissue integrity and function of damaged tissue. Unsuccessful wound healing processes often lead to non-healing wounds. Chronic wounds are caused by depletion of stem cells and a variety of other cellular and molecular mechanisms, many of which are still poorly understood. Current chronic wound therapies are limited, so the search to develop better therapeutic strategies is ongoing. Adult stem cells are gaining recognition as potential candidates for numerous skin pathologies. In this review, we will discuss epidermal and other stem cells present in the skin, and highlight some of the therapeutic applications of epidermal stem cells and other adult stem cells as tools for cell/scaffold-based therapies for non-healing wounds and other skin disorders. We will also discuss emerging concepts and offer some perspectives on how skin tissue-engineered products can be optimized to provide efficacious therapy in cutaneous repair and regeneration.
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