Mechanical stress can influence healing

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Mechanical forces affect the growth and remodeling of blood vessels during tissue regeneration and wound healing, a new study concludes. Such forces diminish or enhance the vascularization process and tissue regeneration depending on when they are applied during the healing process.

Investigators from the Georgia Institute of Technology found that applying mechanical forces to an injury site immediately after healing began disrupted vascular growth into the site and prevented bone healing. However, applying mechanical forces later in the healing process enhanced functional bone regeneration.

The study's findings could influence treatment of tissue injuries and rehabilitation recommendations, researchers claimed.

“The findings suggest applying mechanical stresses to the wound later on can significantly improve healing through a process called adaptive remodeling,” said Robert Guldberg, Ph.D., a professor at the university.

Guldberg and his team used healing of a bone defect in rats for their study. 

Full findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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