The Chemistry of Body Healing

Introduction

One way or another, every person is going to get a scratch in their life at some point. A natural response of the body is to return back to homeostasis. In this we will talk about the chemistry and science of the body’s healing of wounds. I decided to choose this topic because I wanted to know more about the human body and how it reacts to maintain balance. It’s unbelievable to think of all the things the human body can do without even having to think about it. Without your body healing wounds and stopping bleeding you could easily bleed to death from a simple scratch. It might take a while but it could happen.

Composition of ...

  • Blood Vessels

  • Red Blood Cells

    • Water, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, and Phosphorus

  • Platelets

    • Copper, Iron, Potassium, and Zinc

    • Serotonin

      • C10H12N2O

  • Proteins

    • RCH(NH2)COOH

  • White Blood Cells

    • Antibodies

      • Made Up of 4 Polypeptide Chains

  • Oxygen

    • Usually O2

  • Matrix

    • Proteoglycan and Collagen

      • Collagen

        • C2H5NOC5H9NOC5H10NO2

  • Fibroblasts

    • Cells capable of forming skin and other tissue


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Blood

Blood is constantly circulating and carrying oxygen, nutrients, and waste throughout the body. It is a main part of the circulatory system. Oxygen is mostly a liquid but is thicker due to also carrying plasma containing proteins that help the blood clot. Half of all blood is plasma and the other half is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells are for carrying oxygen through the body. White blood cells are used for fighting infections and infection-causing organisms. Platelets are mainly for helping blood clot and keeping blood loss to a minimum. All parts of blood are essential throughout the body.


Blood Vessels

Blood vessels carry blood throughout the body. They are the transportation system of the circulatory system though they do not actively engage in transporting blood. There are three major types of blood vessels. They include veins, arteries, and capillaries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart. Capillaries enable the trade of water and chemicals between the blood and body tissue. Veins then take the blood from the capillaries and take it back towards the heart. Blood vessels can perform an important role in healing wounds by contracting their inner diameter to slow blood flow. This process is called vasoconstriction.


Chemistry's Role

The whole process of wound healing is controlled by reactions in which help the body know what to do. All activists involved in the healing process are all created by natural reactions in the body. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are made up of the amino group, R group, and the carboxyl group. Each amino acid contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Each reaction plays an important role in the process starting from the moment the wound occurs until the scar tissue is gone.

Background Research

The process of body healing begins as soon as the wound occurs. As the blood vessels are cut and broken, blood begins to flow out of them. Vasoconstriction is the process used to tighten the blood vessels to stop blood flow. It starts with platelets rushing to the vessel to clump together and work to plug the sides of the torn vessel. These platelets are activated by the leaking of enzymes in the wound.  Proteins work together to form a fibrin net to hold the “plug” in place over the tear. This process is called coagulation.  Once the bleeding is controlled the blood vessels open and allow white blood cells to rush to the area to surround it and kill any germs that are in the open wound. The body then turns to rebuilding. Fibroblasts gather at the wound and begin to produce collagen, which will fill the wound underneath the scab and make new capillaries in order to bring in oxygen-rich blood to recover the wound. As the skin grows thicker along the edges it moves inward to the center of the wound to cover it. Where the skin meets in the center a scar is formed. Scar tissue will only have roughly 80% of the strength of original skin. Not all wounds will heal with speed and it will depend on the factors of age, nutrition, smoking, illness or infection, and stress.

Resources

Talks about the process of the body healing and cleaning wounds
Discusses different types of wounds and how the body heals and protects them
Major overview of all of the processes and their purposes
Describes some instances of the healing process being interrupted
Your body is designed to heal itself
The state of mind and emotions can be better at healing the body than medicine itself

About the Author

Devon Heil is a Junior at Senior High. He was born and raised in Billings. He loves watching sports and being outside. During the summer he works with his father and likes to go camping. He has no clue what he wants to do with his life yet but has high hopes for it.


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