We have been interested in the healing of simple cutaneous wounds for a considerable period of time. Burrows has studied the nature of the healing process in sterile wounds of this type in the tissue culture (1). He and others in the laboratory have studied a large series of simple wounds in the laboratory animal. In some of these experiments precautions were taken in keeping the wound clean or sterile. The great majority of these wounds were made by marking the surface of the skin on the dorsal or ventral surface of the animal by means of a cork borer of one centimeter or less in diameter and removing the skin with sharp curved scissors. Depending upon the nature of the skin folds and its relation to stress and strain the wound would remain round in contour or become somewhat eliptical in outline after the animal became active following the operative procedure. All of these wounds were made with the animal under anaesthesia. In addition to observations and measurements of these wounds in the gross, from day to day, many of them were sectioned and studied microscopically.

In the tissue culture studies Burrows noted that epithelial cells do not separate from each other in the culture while the connective tissue cells separate and disperse. Epithelial membranes appear only from firmly anchored fragments of skin in these cultures. In the embryo, the connective tissue or mesenchymal syncitium underlying the epithelium grows best. In the adult, however, the epithelium grows best; it apparently grows at the expense of the connective tissue. Barta (2) showed that this epithelial growth could be stimulated in the culture by the addition of embryonic juice. Thus, in any slowly healing wound that is not infected this stimulus added to the wound should accentuate healing in that the rate of epithelial growth would be enhanced thereby. We have tried this in a few clinical cases, the observations of which will be reported at a later date.

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