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Egg Carton Analogy: How wounds heal and tumors form

How wounds heal and tumors form

Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences often uses simple analogies in his lectures to explain how tissues form and diseases develop. Here is an example.

Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal when we are injured and to keep us healthy.  But how does this work? Why do we get scars sometimes and not others?  Why do tumors form in certain tissues, and why are some tumors cancerous while others are not? This explanation uses eggs in a carton to illustrate how cells in our tissues behave during wound healing and tumor formation.

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