Understanding wound closure

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Together with researchers at University College London, scientists at Yale looked closely at how cells behave when repairing skin tissue. By using traction force microscopy, the researchers identified two mechanisms by which muscle proteins are brought to the edge of a wound to close it: using protein actin projections called lamellipodia at the leading edge of a cell to move the entire cell, or by forming a “purse string” bundle of cells across the leading edge of the wound. Understanding these coordinated cellular behaviors will help researchers develop new methods of healing physical trauma.