Timing of wounds could impact healing

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Injuries sustained during the day likely heal faster than those that occur during the night due to human internal biological clocks, according to research published in November.

Preliminary experiments using skin cells in mice showed injuries that occurred during the day healed roughly two times as fast as those sustained at night.

Researchers with the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, analyzed wound healing for more than 100 people with burn injuries. Results of that analysis found wounds that happened at night took 60% longer to heal than those sustained during the day.

Patients' circadian rhythms are responsible for regulating wound healing and likely make healing more effective during the day, researchers said. Findings could be used to inform medical procedures as well as new medications, they said.

“We've shown that the daily cycles in our body clock control how well cells can repair damaged tissue by affecting an essential protein called actin,” explained lead researcher Ned Hoyle, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow at the lab. Results appear in Science Translational Medicine.