Facial plast Surg 2010; 26(5): 385-395
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1265017
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Clinical Applications of Stem Cells in Craniofacial Surgery

Christopher M. Runyan1 , Jesse A. Taylor1
  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
17 September 2010 (online)


Few areas of translational medicine carry as much excitement and hope as stem cell therapies. Because of recent advances in material science and stem cell and developmental biology that help to target molecules and pathways to restore the body's regenerative capacity, the “engineering” of missing tissue is quickly becoming a reality. Classically, tissue engineering has been thought to require external regenerative resources including a scaffold, cells, and growth factors. The allure of providing an exact replica of a missing bone that incorporates to become indistinguishable from self, has the capacity to heal and grow, is resistant to infection, and has minimal morbidity is a “holy grail” to all surgeons who work with bone. This article attempts to shed light on the use of stem cells for craniofacial reconstruction, including important principles learned from other scientific disciplines, relevant animal models for tissue engineering, early clinical reports from our experience and that of others, and future directions.