Background: Cutaneous wound repair consists of multiple integrated networks of cell-matrix-cytokine interactions. It is generally believed that a better understanding of these networks will lead to improved care of cutaneous wounds, whether freshly made by the surgeon's scalpel or previously existing and not healing secondary to underlying abnormalities.
Objective: This review is intended to update the readership in some of the salient aspects of wound repair networks.
Methods: To facilitate the review of multiple integrated networks, cutaneous wound repair was arbitrarily divided into three phases: inflammation, tissue regeneration including re-epithelialization and granulation tissue formation, and tissue reorganization.
Results: Throughout the entire process of wound repair it is clear that cells produce or alter various cytokines and extracellular matrix. The cytokines and matrix in turn alter the behavior of the producer cells (autocrine response) or neighbor cells (paracrine response).
Conclusion: The dynamic reciprocity among cells, cytokines, and matrix material helps explain how integrated wound healing networks are sequential as well as tightly controlled.