Review Article | Published:

Wound repair and regeneration

Nature volume 453, pages 314321 (15 May 2008) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The repair of wounds is one of the most complex biological processes that occur during human life. After an injury, multiple biological pathways immediately become activated and are synchronized to respond. In human adults, the wound repair process commonly leads to a non-functioning mass of fibrotic tissue known as a scar. By contrast, early in gestation, injured fetal tissues can be completely recreated, without fibrosis, in a process resembling regeneration. Some organisms, however, retain the ability to regenerate tissue throughout adult life. Knowledge gained from studying such organisms might help to unlock latent regenerative pathways in humans, which would change medical practice as much as the introduction of antibiotics did in the twentieth century.

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Acknowledgements

G.C.G. and M.T.L. are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Oak Foundation. S.W. is supported by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ), the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNSNF), the European Union and Oncosuisse. Y.B. is supported by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois Lausanne (CHUV) and the European Consortium for Stem Cell Research (EuroStemCell).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 257 Campus Drive, Stanford, California 94305-5148, USA.

    • Geoffrey C. Gurtner
    •  & Michael T. Longaker
  2. Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Schafmattstrasse 18, HPM D42, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.

    • Sabine Werner
  3. Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Chirurgie Éxperimentale, Pavillon 4, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.

    • Yann Barrandon
  4. École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne, School of Life Sciences/LDCS, Station 15, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.

    • Yann Barrandon

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Correspondence should be addressed to G.C.G. or M.T.L. (ggurtner@stanford.edu; longaker@stanford.edu).

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07039

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