Biomedical engineers developed a technique to observe wound healing in real time, discovering a central role for cells known as fibroblasts. The work, reported in APL Bioengineering, is the first demonstration of a wound closure model within human vascularized tissue in a petri dish.
Prior investigations of wound healing have used animal models, but healing in humans does not occur the same way. One difference is that wounds in mice and rats, for example, can heal without granulation tissue, a type of tissue critical to the healing of human wounds.
Granulation tissue forms after blood coagulates, and the wound scabs over. Coagulation creates a fibrin network that serves as a temporary matrix. Granulation tissue then takes over, filling the wound with new tissue and blood capillaries, protecting the wound from infection, and providing a foundation for further healing.
The investigators created