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Wound Repair

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Wound healing; Regeneration (Biology)


Following injury, a series of events is initiated that includes global and local reactions. Global reactions, such as inflammatory and immunological responses as well as adjustments in neural and endocrine status, are directed at marshaling the organism's resources for dealing with changes in its integrity and the potential threat of infection or other complications. Injury entails cell and tissue damage and often a physical breach in the barrier against the outside world (e.g., skin). Local reactions are exemplified by immediate hemostatic (e.g., blood clotting) events followed by changes in local cellular composition created by the inflammatory infiltrate and adjustments in resident cell function. These are accompanied by local metabolic adjustments. These events are directed at restoring local integrity and establishing a relevant steady-state.

The typical events of wound repair are extensively documented and well characterized. In recent years, research has explored regulation of wound repair at the cellular level and has sought alternative modes for correcting tissue damage that yield more efficient restoration of preinjury conditions (e.g., regeneration). Since repair typically leads to replacement of damaged tissues with connective tissue, reduction in function invariably accompanies wound healing. Where tissue damage is slight, this causes little or no problem for the individual. However, when tissue damage is great, as for example when a finger or limb is lost, the compromise of wound repair carries a noticeable price (both in actual costs and in quality of life for the affected individual).

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