One of the differences between fetal and adult skin healing is the ability of fetal wounds heal without contraction and scar formation. Extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a substratum for cells adhesion, migration, and proliferation and can directly influence the form and function of cells. As motility is essential for many important biological events, including wound healing, inflammatory response, embryonic development, and tumor metastasis, this study was designed to compare the motilities cultured dermal fetal and neonatal fibroblasts in the extracellular matrix. The motility of cultured fetal and neonatal fibroblasts was compared using a video-microscopy system that was developed in combination with a self-designed CO2 mini-incubator. To determine migration speed, cells were viewed with a 4 × phase-contrast lens and video recorded. Images were captured using a color CCD camera and saved in 8-bit full-color mode. We found that cultured fetal fibroblasts move faster than neonatal fibroblast on type I collagen (fetal fibroblast, 15.1 μm/hr; neonatal fibroblast, 13.7 μm/hr), and in fibronectin (fetal fibroblast, 13.2 μm/hr; neonatal fibroblast, 13.0 μm/hr) and hyaluronic acid (fetal fibroblast, 11 μm/hr; neonatal fibroblast, 9.8 μm/hr).
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