Wound Healing: A Cellular Perspective

Physiol Rev. 2019 Jan 1;99(1):665-706. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00067.2017.


Wound healing is one of the most complex processes in the human body. It involves the spatial and temporal synchronization of a variety of cell types with distinct roles in the phases of hemostasis, inflammation, growth, re-epithelialization, and remodeling. With the evolution of single cell technologies, it has been possible to uncover phenotypic and functional heterogeneity within several of these cell types. There have also been discoveries of rare, stem cell subsets within the skin, which are unipotent in the uninjured state, but become multipotent following skin injury. Unraveling the roles of each of these cell types and their interactions with each other is important in understanding the mechanisms of normal wound closure. Changes in the microenvironment including alterations in mechanical forces, oxygen levels, chemokines, extracellular matrix and growth factor synthesis directly impact cellular recruitment and activation, leading to impaired states of wound healing. Single cell technologies can be used to decipher these cellular alterations in diseased states such as in chronic wounds and hypertrophic scarring so that effective therapeutic solutions for healing wounds can be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Hemostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*