Healthy Healing

Biologist Luisa Ann DiPietro: Reducing Scarring and Speeding Healing

Luisa DiPietro Optimizes Healing

Dentist and biologist DiPietro works to change the way we view healing.



Do all types of tissue heal equally well?

Photo: Bill Wiegand

Answer: No

Different types of tissue heal better than others.

Stages of Healing

Inflammation in Cells

  1. Neutrophils are the first cells to respond to injury

  2. Macrophages clean up debris

  3. Mast cells induce swelling, warmth, and redness

  4. All 3 types of cells summon more immune system cells

Wound cells

Photo: Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.


  1. New vessels grow and cover wound

  2. New vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to wound

  3. Proteins grab the edges of wound and close it, forming a protective mesh

  4. Excess new vessels die off


Too Much of a Good Thing?

In what types of human cells does this NOT occur?

How does this happen?

When is inflammation potentially dangerous?

DiPietro's Gnawing Problem

Knowledge By Comparison

In vitro experiment

In vivo animal experiment

DiPietro's Approaches to Better Understand Healing

Many Unanswered Questions

Research Applications

Can you think of a new way to prevent scarring?