The Northwestern Abdominoplasty Scar Model: A Tool for High-Throughput Assessment of Scar Therapeutics

Ji Cheng Hsieh, Chitang J. Joshi, Rou Wan, Robert D. Galiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significance: Scar management is an important concern in plastic surgery. Scar models that best mimic in vivo human scarring are essential for understanding scar development and progression, assessing the efficacy of therapeutics, and providing reliable and valid research outcomes. Recent Advances: In 2016, Lanier et al. proposed a new in vivo patient model, the Northwestern Abdominoplasty Scar Model, that overcomes the prior limitations of both animal and human models, with greater representativeness of the human scarring process, expedited recruitment, smaller sample requirements, and greater flexibility in the types and number of interventions that can be studied simultaneously. Critical Issues: Existing animal models suffer from limitations that impede generalization to human scars. Human scar studies are difficult to conduct and rarely used due to recruitment difficulties, ethical concerns regarding purposeful wounding, and inherent variability based on location, type of scar, and the heterogeneity of the host response between humans. Although overcoming many of these hurdles, the Northwestern Abdominoplasty Scar Model still has a few limitations. In addition, there remains a need for further study of and comparison between the Northwestern Abdominoplasty Scar Model and existing human and animal models, to inspire more widespread acceptance of a standardized human scar model. Future Directions: The Northwestern Abdominoplasty Scar Model is a critical stepping stone toward better human scar models. This model hopefully will inspire other in vivo patient models utilizing elective surgery to overcome recruitment and ethical concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • plastic surgery
  • review
  • scar models
  • scars
  • wound
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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