Research Topic

Approaches that Foster a Pro-Regenerative Environment

About this Research Topic

The term “Autotherapy” was originally coined in 2018 by Martha J. Somerman and colleagues at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and refers to the utilization of various approaches to stimulate inherent tissue responses, manipulate stem cell niches, and modulate endogenous tissue environments to enhance tissue healing and regeneration. As it relates to Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM), this could be achieved by the transient modulatory effects of certain administered cell types, administration of stem-cell derived factors such as extracellular vesicles (EVs), secreted ligands or extracellular matrices (ECMs), or from synthetic small molecules, genetic engineering tools, biomaterials or scaffolds. The entire field of autotherapy is extremely broad, but in this collection, we will be focusing on approaches that foster a pro-regenerative environment through stimulation of stem cells, enhancement of angiogenesis, optimization of the metabolome, and/or modulation of the immune system.

According to Somerman’s opinion piece, autotherapeutic elements or concepts can be crudely divided into (i) approaches that modulate the stem cell niche (e.g. stem cells, modulation or recapitulation of the stem cell niche) (ii) those that foster a pro-regenerative environment (immune modulation, anti-inflammatory approaches, angiogenesis, metabolism) and (iii) direct lineage reprogramming of stem cells or trans-differentiation of differentiated cells (e.g. epigenetic or genetic modification in situ with non-viral agents). This can be achieved through a variety of approaches including, but not limited to, stem cell derived biomaterials such as ECMs, biomolecules and EVs, synthetic scaffolds, small molecule agents and genetic manipulation.

Because the scope of autotherapy is so broad, the goal of this Research Topic is to focus on the concept of autotherapy as is relates to stimulating a pro-regenerative environment. This will be achieved with several explanatory Review articles followed by a series of exemplary cases in the form of cutting-edge Original Research articles.

Topic areas to be included in this Research Topic, but not limited to, are:
• Approaches that foster a pro-regenerative environment e.g. resolution of inflammation, stimulation of angiogenesis, optimization of the metabolome or microbiome.
• Approaches that harness the immune system to treat cancer, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, e.g. immune cell engineering, induction of immune tolerance with biomaterials.
• Repair or modulation of the stem cell niche.
• Implantable scaffolds with novel regenerative, bioactive or biophysical properties.


Keywords: Autotherapies, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Pro-Regenerative Environment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The term “Autotherapy” was originally coined in 2018 by Martha J. Somerman and colleagues at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and refers to the utilization of various approaches to stimulate inherent tissue responses, manipulate stem cell niches, and modulate endogenous tissue environments to enhance tissue healing and regeneration. As it relates to Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM), this could be achieved by the transient modulatory effects of certain administered cell types, administration of stem-cell derived factors such as extracellular vesicles (EVs), secreted ligands or extracellular matrices (ECMs), or from synthetic small molecules, genetic engineering tools, biomaterials or scaffolds. The entire field of autotherapy is extremely broad, but in this collection, we will be focusing on approaches that foster a pro-regenerative environment through stimulation of stem cells, enhancement of angiogenesis, optimization of the metabolome, and/or modulation of the immune system.

According to Somerman’s opinion piece, autotherapeutic elements or concepts can be crudely divided into (i) approaches that modulate the stem cell niche (e.g. stem cells, modulation or recapitulation of the stem cell niche) (ii) those that foster a pro-regenerative environment (immune modulation, anti-inflammatory approaches, angiogenesis, metabolism) and (iii) direct lineage reprogramming of stem cells or trans-differentiation of differentiated cells (e.g. epigenetic or genetic modification in situ with non-viral agents). This can be achieved through a variety of approaches including, but not limited to, stem cell derived biomaterials such as ECMs, biomolecules and EVs, synthetic scaffolds, small molecule agents and genetic manipulation.

Because the scope of autotherapy is so broad, the goal of this Research Topic is to focus on the concept of autotherapy as is relates to stimulating a pro-regenerative environment. This will be achieved with several explanatory Review articles followed by a series of exemplary cases in the form of cutting-edge Original Research articles.

Topic areas to be included in this Research Topic, but not limited to, are:
• Approaches that foster a pro-regenerative environment e.g. resolution of inflammation, stimulation of angiogenesis, optimization of the metabolome or microbiome.
• Approaches that harness the immune system to treat cancer, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, e.g. immune cell engineering, induction of immune tolerance with biomaterials.
• Repair or modulation of the stem cell niche.
• Implantable scaffolds with novel regenerative, bioactive or biophysical properties.


Keywords: Autotherapies, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Pro-Regenerative Environment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 January 2021 Abstract
24 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 January 2021 Abstract
24 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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