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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2011, Volume 5, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11684-011-0108-z

Stem cell niches and endogenous electric fields in tissue repair

State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China

Available online: 2011-03-05

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Adult stem cells are responsible for homeostasis and repair of many tissues. Endogenous adult stem cells reside in certain regions of organs, known as the stem cell niche, which is recognized to have an important role in regulating tissue maintenance and repair. In wound healing and tissue repair, stem cells are mobilized and recruited to the site of wound, and participate in the repair process. Many regulatory factors are involved in the stem cell-based repair process, including stem cell niches and endogenous wound electric fields, which are present at wound tissues and proved to be important in guiding wound healing. Here we briefly review the role of stem cell niches and endogenous electric fields in tissue repair, and hypothesize that endogenous electric fields become part of stem cell niche in the wound site.

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