• Question: Do the cells you're testing heal at an increased rate compared to other cells?

    Asked by th3jaffa to Vicky on 12 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      HI – This is an great question!

      Well the healing process is really complex, it depends on several things happening all at once. Basically the main mechanism for healing is that the cells produce lots of collagen (a type of protein) which is then cross-linked to form a mesh. This mesh is used to heal surfaces in the body like a scab. But sometimes this can go wrong and either too much collagen or too much linking between the collagen proteins can occur and this can led to scarring (what we call fibrosis).

      Cells which grow quicker can be an important part of the healing process so I do look at how quickly the cells grow. The cells grow quicker when I put molecules on them which are responsible for inflammation but they grow slower when I put some types of hormones in them.