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J Dermatol. 1992 Nov;19(11):667-72.

Growth factors and chronic wounds: the need to understand the microenvironment.

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University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Florida 33101.


The care of chronic wounds has become a major health issue in developed countries because of their increasingly elderly populations. There is hope that progress made in understanding and producing growth factors will lead to their successful use to induce faster and better healing of chronic wounds. This report will discuss growth factors in the context of their use in chronic wounds, and will focus on the importance of the wound microenvironment in determining the interactions between growth factors and wounds. We believe that a greater understanding of the chronic wound microenvironment will be of benefit in the optimal use of growth factors. In published studies, we have found that wound fluid taken from acute wounds stimulates fibroblast and endothelial cell proliferation, whereas fluid obtained from chronic non-healing wounds inhibits the growth of fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and keratinocytes. In this report, we describe the effect of these two types of wound fluid on the synthesis of extracellular matrix components. We hypothesize that the chronic wound microenvironment is generally non-conducive to cell growth, and that this may prevent a truly successful use of topical growth factors in chronic wounds. Novel approaches in the delivery of growth factors to wounds may be necessary to overcome these obstacles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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