Manipulation of the wound healing process and the manner in which tissues interact with inert biomaterials were both made possible with the discovery of arginine-glycine-aspartic (RGD) acid as a major cell recognition signal in the extracellular matrix. Whether promoting cell adhesion or selectively inhibiting cell-cell aggregation mediated by integrin cell surface receptors, RGD-containing peptides can be rationally designed to incorporate both stability and integrin specificity. Synthetic peptides containing this sequence have been linked to biodegradable biopolymers and introduced for the enhancement of dermal and corneal would healing. By accelerating the healing reaction using RGD-containing peptides, the quality of regenerated tissue seems to be improved, the extent of fibrosis restricted, and the risk of microbial infection may be reduced. Controlling the degree of fibrosis that often accompanies the healing of wounds and the reaction of tissue to foreign materials can also be achieved by natural antagonists of fibrogenic activity of TGF-beta animal models of kidney fibrosis. These advances in the biotechnology of wound healing and tissue regeneration eventually will have an overall impact on the quality of health care.