Concise review: Human dermis as an autologous source of stem cells for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Natalia Vapniarsky Arzi, Boaz Arzi, Jerry C. Hu, Jan Nolta, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The exciting potential for regenerating organs from autologous stem cells is on the near horizon, and adult dermis stem cells (DSCs) are particularly appealing because of the ease and relative minimal invasiveness of skin collection. A substantial number of reports have described DSCs and their potential for regenerating tissues from mesenchymal, ectodermal, and endodermal lineages; however, the exact niches of these stem cells in various skin types and their antigenic surface makeup are not yet clearly defined. The multilineage potential of DSCs appears to be similar, despite great variability in isolation and in vitro propagation methods. Despite this great potential, only limited amounts of tissues and clinical applications for organ regeneration have been developed from DSCs. This review summarizes the literature on DSCs regarding their niches and the specific markers they express. The concept of the niches and the differentiation capacity of cells residing in them along particular lineages is discussed. Furthermore, the advantages and disadvantages of widely used methods to demonstrate lineage differentiation are considered. In addition, safety considerations and the most recent advancements in the field of tissue engineering and regeneration using DSCs are discussed. This review concludes with thoughts on how to prospectively approach engineering of tissues and organ regeneration using DSCs. Our expectation is that implementation of the major points highlighted in this review will lead to major advancements in the fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1198
Number of pages12
JournalStem cells translational medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Adult dermis mesenchymal stem cells
  • Autologous tissue engineering
  • Bulge stem cells
  • Dermal papilla stem cells
  • Dermal sheath
  • Multilineage differentiation
  • Pericytes
  • Sebaceous gland stromal stem cells
  • Stemness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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