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October 16, 2017  
WOUND NEWS: Feature Story

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  • cell healing

    Wound Healing Discovery May Improve Understanding of Cell Movement


    July 28, 2014

    Source: University of Waterloo

    Research by a civil engineer from the University of Waterloo is helping shed light on the way wounds heal and may someday have implications for understanding how cancer spreads, as well as why certain birth defects occur.

    A wound in the process of healing
    A wound in the process of healing.The drawstring fragments along
    the wound edge are shown in bright yellow, the cell extensions
    associated with crawling are red, and the cell nuclei are blue.
    Photo credit: Ester Anon


    Professor Wayne Brodland is developing computational models for studying the mechanical interactions between cells. In this project, he worked with a team of international researchers who found that the way wounds knit together is more complex than we thought. The results were published in the journal,Nature Physics.

    "When people think of civil engineering, they probably think of bridges and roads, not the human body," said Professor Brodland. "Like a number of my colleagues, I study structures, but ones that happen to be very small, and under certain conditions they cause cells to move. The models we build allow us to replicate these movements and figure out how they are driven."

    When you cut yourself, a scar remains, but not so in the cells the team studied. The researchers found that an injury closes by cells crawling to the site and by contraction of a drawstring-like structure that forms along the wound edge. They were surprised to find that the drawstring works fine even when it contains naturally occurring breaks.

    This knowledge could be the first step on a long road towards making real progress in addressing some major health challenges.

    "The work is important because it helps us to understand how cells move. We hope that someday this knowledge will help us to eliminate malformation birth defects, such as spina bifida, and stop cancer cells from spreading," said Professor Brodland.

    The research team was composed of 10 researchers from Spain, France, Singapore and Canada. Professor Brodland is one of the paper's two Canadian co-authors. His contribution received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

    Discuss in the Wounds1 forums

    Photo: Ester Anon

    Last updated: 28-Jul-14

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  • Wednesday, Jan 06 2016 04:45 EST by nataliegilbrt

    A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot; Managing Diabetes .
       
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