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Epithelial mechanobiology, skin wound healing, and the stem cell niche

Epithelial mechanobiology, skin wound healing, and the stem cell niche
Epithelial mechanobiology, skin wound healing, and the stem cell niche
Skin wound healing is a vital process that is important for re-establishing the epithelial barrier following disease or injury. Aberrant or delayed skin wound healing increases the risk of infection, causes patient morbidity, and may lead to the formation of scar tissue. One of the most important events in wound healing is coverage of the wound with a new epithelial layer. This occurs when keratinocytes at the wound periphery divide and migrate to re-populate the wound bed. Many approaches are under investigation to promote and expedite this process, including the topical application of growth factors and the addition of autologous and allogeneic tissue or cell grafts. The mechanical environment of the wound site is also of fundamental importance for the rate and quality of wound healing. It is known that mechanical stress can influence wound healing by affecting the behaviour of cells within the dermis, but it remains unclear how mechanical forces affect the healing epidermis. Tensile forces are known to affect the behaviour of cells within epithelia, however, and the material properties of extracellular matrices, such as substrate stiffness, have been shown to affect the morphology, proliferation, differentiation and migration of many different cell types. In this review we will introduce the structure of the skin and the process of wound healing. We will then discuss the evidence for the effect of tissue mechanics in re-epithelialisation and, in particular, on stem cell behaviour in the wound microenvironment and in intact skin. We will discuss how the elasticity, mechanical heterogeneity and topography of the wound extracellular matrix impact the rate and quality of wound healing, and how we may exploit this knowledge to expedite wound healing and mitigate scarring.
1751-6161
397-409
Evans, Nicholas D.
06a05c97-bfed-4abb-9244-34ec9f4b4b95
Oreffo, Richard O.C.
ff9fff72-6855-4d0f-bfb2-311d0e8f3778
Healy, Eugene
400fc04d-f81a-474a-ae25-7ff894be0ebd
Thurner, Philipp J.
ab711ddd-784e-48de-aaad-f56aec40f84f
Man, Yu Hin
e4534f4d-3531-4483-9f70-562b8bffd987
Evans, Nicholas D.
06a05c97-bfed-4abb-9244-34ec9f4b4b95
Oreffo, Richard O.C.
ff9fff72-6855-4d0f-bfb2-311d0e8f3778
Healy, Eugene
400fc04d-f81a-474a-ae25-7ff894be0ebd
Thurner, Philipp J.
ab711ddd-784e-48de-aaad-f56aec40f84f
Man, Yu Hin
e4534f4d-3531-4483-9f70-562b8bffd987

Evans, Nicholas D., Oreffo, Richard O.C., Healy, Eugene, Thurner, Philipp J. and Man, Yu Hin (2013) Epithelial mechanobiology, skin wound healing, and the stem cell niche. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 28, 397-409. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.04.023). (PMID:23746929)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Skin wound healing is a vital process that is important for re-establishing the epithelial barrier following disease or injury. Aberrant or delayed skin wound healing increases the risk of infection, causes patient morbidity, and may lead to the formation of scar tissue. One of the most important events in wound healing is coverage of the wound with a new epithelial layer. This occurs when keratinocytes at the wound periphery divide and migrate to re-populate the wound bed. Many approaches are under investigation to promote and expedite this process, including the topical application of growth factors and the addition of autologous and allogeneic tissue or cell grafts. The mechanical environment of the wound site is also of fundamental importance for the rate and quality of wound healing. It is known that mechanical stress can influence wound healing by affecting the behaviour of cells within the dermis, but it remains unclear how mechanical forces affect the healing epidermis. Tensile forces are known to affect the behaviour of cells within epithelia, however, and the material properties of extracellular matrices, such as substrate stiffness, have been shown to affect the morphology, proliferation, differentiation and migration of many different cell types. In this review we will introduce the structure of the skin and the process of wound healing. We will then discuss the evidence for the effect of tissue mechanics in re-epithelialisation and, in particular, on stem cell behaviour in the wound microenvironment and in intact skin. We will discuss how the elasticity, mechanical heterogeneity and topography of the wound extracellular matrix impact the rate and quality of wound healing, and how we may exploit this knowledge to expedite wound healing and mitigate scarring.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 14 May 2013
Published date: December 2013
Organisations: Human Development & Health, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 353903
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/353903
ISSN: 1751-6161
PURE UUID: fdcbda61-86ae-455b-be01-8fd8418f2550
ORCID for Richard O.C. Oreffo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5995-6726
ORCID for Philipp J. Thurner: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7588-9041

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jun 2013 13:20
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:53

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