Tissue repair: The hidden drama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


As living beings that encounter every kind of traumatic event from paper cut to myocardial infarction, we must possess ways to heal damaged tissues. While some animals are able to regrow complete body parts following injury (such as the earthworm who grows a new head following bisection), humans are sadly incapable of such feats. Our means of recovery following tissue damage consists largely of repair rather than pure regeneration. Thousands of times in our lives, a meticulously scripted but unseen wound healing drama plays, with cells serving as actors, extracellular matrix as the setting and growth factors as the means of communication. This article briefly reviews the cells involved in tissue repair, their signaling and proliferation mechanisms and the function of the extracellular matrix, then presents the actors and script for the three acts of the tissue repair drama.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Growth factors
  • Regeneration
  • Scarring
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue repair
  • Wound healing


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