Temple University researchers investigating new wound healing method

August 17, 2004

The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust has awarded Tracee Panetti, Ph.D., a $250,000 grant to investigate new methods of wound healing. Panetti, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Temple University School of Medicine, will specifically explore endothelial cell migration.

More than 6.5 million people in the United States are afflicted with chronic wounds as a result of their inability to form new blood vessels. Failure to form new blood vessels can trigger serious health problems including coronary artery disease and inability to heal severe infection. Experts are just now beginning to recognize the necessity of treatment and therapy for those suffering from this disorder.

Blood vessels provide the oxygen and nutrients necessary to maintain and repair tissue. The two factors that regulate the repair of damaged tissue are soluble growth factors, which cause cells to divide and enter the tissue, and the extra-cellular matrix, a web of proteins that cells use to move.

"Our studies will examine the molecular means by which soluble growth factor, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and gelatin may work together to promote new blood vessel formation and ultimately heal wounds," said Panetti. "We believe that LPA may only stimulate endothelial cell migration in a gelatin solution in tissues that have a particular protein, Hic-5," Panetti explained. "Our goal is to determine whether or not an increase or decrease of Hic-5 enhances or inhibits migration, and what specific parts of the protein alter this migration."

Temple University

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