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Terms to Know: Complex Wound Management

Practice Accelerator
February 28, 2021

Angiogenesis: The complex process in which the growth of normal, stable, and functional vessels is critically dependent on the coordinated interplay in space and time of different cell types and growth factors.1 This process involves the forming of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels by invading the wound clot to organize in a microvascular network throughout granulation tissue.

Autologous cell therapy: A therapeutic intervention that uses an individual’s cells, which are cultured and expanded outside of the body and reintroduced into the donor as a bioengineered skin substitute to aid in wound closure.

Immunomodulation: Therapeutic interventions aimed at modifying the immune response. Healing in chronic and complex wounds can be enhanced with immunomodulating agents.

Intralesional injection: The direct injection of therapeutic substances, such as growth factors, into a cutaneous lesion. This method of administration delivers high concentrations of therapeutical agents while minimizing adverse side effects.

Langerhans cells: Tissue-resident dendritic cells of the skin that contain organelles called Birbeck granules. Langerhans cells are present in all layers of the epidermis but are most densely concentrated in the stratum spinosum. They are responsible for determining the immune response (inflammation) to foreign materials.

Platelet-derived growth factor: One of multiple growth factors that regulate cell growth and division. This growth factor is a potent mitogen (peptide) for cells of mesenchymal origin, such as fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, and glial cells.

Polypeptide: A linear organic polymer with many amino acid residues bonded to form a chain of protein molecules.

Proinflammatory cytokines: Immunoregulatory cytokines that favor inflammation. The net effect of an inflammatory response is determined by the balance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Scaffolds: Substances consisting of polymeric central components. They are used to deliver cells, drugs, and genes into the body and can aid in the closure of wounds and restoration of function.

Senescent cells: Cells that appear during late-stage healing that release a continual cascade of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, and proteases. The presence of these cells may prolong the inflammatory period.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF): A growth factor that aids in the growth of new blood vessels by initiating angiogenesis, proliferation, and migration of endothelial cells.


1. Martino MM, Brkic S, Bovo E, et al. Extracellular matrix and growth factor engineering for controlled angiogenesis in regenerative medicine. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2015;3:45. . 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.