Impact Factor
This article is part of the Research Topic The impact of stem cells in regenerative medicine


Front. Physiol., 14 December 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00453

Regenerative strategies for craniofacial disorders

  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 2Department of Orofacial Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 3Craniofacial and Mesenchymal Biology Program, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 4Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Craniofacial disorders present markedly complicated problems in reconstruction because of the complex interactions of the multiple, simultaneously affected tissues. Regenerative medicine holds promise for new strategies to improve treatment of these disorders. This review addresses current areas of unmet need in craniofacial reconstruction and emphasizes how craniofacial tissues differ from their analogs elsewhere in the body. We present a problem-based approach to illustrate current treatment strategies for various craniofacial disorders, to highlight areas of need, and to suggest regenerative strategies for craniofacial bone, fat, muscle, nerve, and skin. For some tissues, current approaches offer excellent reconstructive solutions using autologous tissue or prosthetic materials. Thus, new “regenerative” approaches would need to offer major advantages in order to be adopted. In other tissues, the unmet need is great, and we suggest the greatest regenerative need is for muscle, skin, and nerve. The advent of composite facial tissue transplantation and the development of regenerative medicine are each likely to add important new paradigms to our treatment of craniofacial disorders.

Keywords: regeneration, craniofacial, stem cell, satellite cell, fat transfer, facial nerve

Citation: Garland CB and Pomerantz JH (2012) Regenerative strategies for craniofacial disorders. Front. Physio. 3:453. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00453

Received: 26 June 2012; Paper pending published: 13 July 2012;
Accepted: 12 November 2012; Published online: 14 December 2012.

Edited by:

Anis Feki, Hopitaux Fribourgeois, Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Daniel Graf, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Catherine Chaussain, Université Paris Descartes Paris Cité, France
Riccardo D’Aquino, Teslab S.r.l., Italy

Copyright: © 2012 Garland and Pomerantz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Jason H. Pomerantz, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Avenue, Room M-593, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. e-mail: jason.pomerantz@ucsfmedctr.org