1. Departmento de Clínicas Veterinárias, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP), Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, nº 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal.
2. Centro de Estudos de Ciência Animal (CECA), Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agrárias e Agro-Alimentares (ICETA), Rua D. Manuel II, Apartado 55142, 4051-401, Porto, Portugal.
3. Departmento de Patologia e de Imunologia Molecular, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP), Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, nº 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal.
4. Instituto Português de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto (IPATIMUP), Rua Dr. Roberto Frias s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal.
5. CDRsp - Centro para o Desenvolvimento Rápido e Sustentado de Produto, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Centro Empresarial da Marinha Grande, Rua de Portugal - Zona Industrial, 2430-028, Marinha Grande, Portugal.
6. CEMUC, Departamento de Engenharia Metalúrgica e Materiais, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal.
7. LEPABE - Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP), Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465, Porto, Portugal
8. Hospital de S. João, Universidade do Porto (UP), Porto, Portugal.
9. Departmento de Dentistria, Universidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP), Praça 9 de Abril, 349, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal.
10. UPVET, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP), Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, nº 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal. Porto.
The healing process of the skin is a dynamic procedure mediated through a complex feedback of growth factors secreted by a variety of cells types. Despite the most recent advances in wound healing management and surgical procedures, these techniques still fail up to 50%, so cellular therapies involving mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are nowadays a promising treatment of skin ulcers which are a cause of high morbidity. The MSCs modulate the inflammatory local response and induce cell replacing, by a paracrine mode of action, being an important cell therapy for the impaired wound healing. The local application of human MSCs (hMSCs) isolated from the umbilical cord Wharton's jelly together with a poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel (PVA) membrane, was tested to promote wound healing in two dogs that were referred for clinical examination at UPVET Hospital, showing non-healing large skin lesions by the standard treatments. The wounds were infiltrated with 1000 cells/µl hMSCs in a total volume of 100 µl per cm2 of lesion area. A PVA membrane was applied to completely cover the wound to prevent its dehydration. Both animals after the treatment demonstrated a significant progress in skin regeneration with decreased extent of ulcerated areas confirmed by histological analysis. The use of Wharton's jelly MSCs associated with a PVA membrane showed promising clinical results for future application in the treatment of chronic wounds in companion animals and humans.
Keywords: Chronic wounds, mesenchymal stem cells, Wharton's jelly, PVA hydrogel, histology.