Fetal Wound Healing

Lester D. Stone, EL 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, 2006

Fetal wound healing mechanisms bring fetuses to other levels of research. Fetuses healing without scars following prenatal surgery, as well as adult wound healing brings new research to the fetus. Wounding, inflammation, cell proliferation, and formation of fibrous tissue occur in adult wound healing. Fetal wound healing occurs without inflammation or even the formation of fibrous tissue and becomes more accustomed to regenerate. There are also political and ethical constraints in this line of research. To escape these constraints, scientists turn to animal models and in vitro models. These models still present constructions of fetal cyborgs. There has been much research done on chick embryos, opossums, guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, sheep, and non-human primates. The rabbit tends to be the most widely used animal model. Non-human primates on the other hand are the most rigorous in terms of human fetuses. Wounds and lesions are simulated in all animal models. Researchers use assay systems, wire mesh cylinders transforming fetal bodies and causing pain and death for fetuses and pregnant female. The in vitro model avoids some of those issues because wounded tissue is surgically removed and isolated from the rest of the organism. Scientists are investigating circulating cells migrating to the wound site. An example of the in vitro model,the sheep explant model presents pieces of fetal sheep skin placed on gauze in culture dishes and combined with different substances. Scientists then analyze these combinations for different effects. The cyborgs in these practices are scarless and resemble the cyborgs in science fiction. The cosmetic industry typically use the production of fetuses.

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Last modified 30 December 2006