Noninvasive Assessment of Progenitor Cell Persistence in Wound Beds of Immunocompetent Mice
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This increased sensitivity in bioluminescent imaging is particularly evident in studies that have shown persistence of luminescent cells within the wound bed for extended periods of time, even up to 90 days after implantation.2,4,9,10
The use of bioluminescent imaging techniques in the analysis of wound healing is an expanding area of research, where it is being used to establish the kinetics of cell homing and engraftment. It is interesting to note that applications of this technology will also have particular significance in defining the spatiotemporal changes in endogenous gene expression, depending on the promoter used, within the wound bed. Biotherapeutic drug development for wound healing is currently hampered by a need for multiple drugs, at different times, acting on different cells to elicit different responses, all likely dependent on whether the therapeutic target is present during angiogenesis, wound consolidation/closure or scarring phases. Using the kinetic information obtained by dissecting the molecular physiology of each endpoint of the wound healing response, it should be possible to engineer biosynthetic and biodynamic matrices that deliver drugs into the wound bed where they are needed, when they are needed, and for the duration that they are needed. The validation of such engineered therapeutics will require the development and testing of innovative models such as the bioluminescent reporter model we describe here in which to evaluate their efficacy, exploiting a better understanding of the molecular physiology of the wound bed.
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