Chronic wounds represent a significant morbidity to the elderly and are a substantial financial burden to health care for the elderly. Several advances have been made however many patients still present with unresponsive lower extremity ulcers. The emerging field of stem cell biology may open new avenues for treatment for chronic wounds as well as a variety of other disorders. There is growing evidence that stem cells from one organ can make tissues of another organ. Our preliminary experiments indicate that some bone marrow cells can incorporate and regenerate wounded skin tissues. In a clinical protocol we have been able to heal recalcitrant wound with the application of bone marrow aspirate and cultured bone marrow stem cells. This application will address improving on our preliminary findings and identifying those bone marrow cells that are important in contributing to wound healing.
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