Many of the limitations in treatment of chronic wounds are based on lack of knowledge of the molecular mechanism(s) of wound healing. Furthermore, diagnostic tools in wound healing are still primarily macroscopic, visual, and histologic. Thus, by understanding mechanisms of wound healing at a molecular level, new treatments can be designed, prevention programs developed, and a better understanding of current treatments provided. The ability to methodically analyze the expression patterns of thousands of genes simultaneously allows for identification of groups of molecular defects that lead to chronic inhibition of the wound-healing process. Gene array technology is having a major impact on the field of wound healing and has the potential to profoundly affect the way we understand the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of chronic wounds. Currently, gene array technology is used in the field of chronic wound healing to (1) understand the pathogenesis of pressure ulcers and venous ulcers, (2) understand the pathogenesis of diabetic foot ulcers, including the role that neuropathy may play in delayed healing of diabetic foot ulcers, and (3) determine the mechanism(s) of established and new local treatments, that is, pharmacogenomics for pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers.
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