New Study Identifies Mechanism Underlying Wound Healing and Potential Target for Speeding Healing Process

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The ion channel PIEZO1, which spans cell membranes and helps convert mechanical forces into electrochemical signals, regulates skin cells called keratinocytes during wound healing and may be a target for developing medicines that speed up the healing process, according to a new study published in the journal eLife. The study, partially funded by the NIH New Innovator Award and supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), was conducted by researchers at Scripps Research and the University of California, Irvine.


During the repair of wounded skin, keratinocytes—the predominant cell type in the outermost layer of the skin—migrate from the wound edge into the wound, where they play an essential role in regenerating the skin. Mechanical forces are known to regulate keratinocytes as they restore the skin. Now, new research has identified the biophysical mechanism underlying this process, showing that the mechanically activated ion channel PIEZO1 plays a key role.


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