Exudate is the product of the inflammation process, which contains water, electrolytes, nutrients, inflammatory mediators, white cells, protein-digesting enzymes (e.g. matrix metalloproteinases – MMPs), growth factors and waste products all suspended in serum (White & Cutting, 2006; Barrett, 2015).

Component Function
Fibrin Clotting
Platelets Clotting
Polymorphonucleocytes (PMNs) Immune defence, production of growth factors
Lymphocytes Immune defence
Macrophages Immune defence, production of growth factors
Microorganisms Exogenous factor
Plasma proteins, albumin, globulin, fibrinogen Maintain osmotic pressure, immunity, transport of macromolecules
Lactic acid Product of cellular metabolism, indicates biochemical hypoxia
Glucose Cellular energy source
Inorganic salts Buffering, pH hydrogen ion concentration in a solution
Growth factors Proteins controlling factor-specific healing activities
Wound debris/dead cells No function
Proteolytic enzymes Enzymes that degrade protein, including serine, cysteine, aspartic proteases and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPS) Controlled inhibition of metalloproteinases

Table showing some constituents of exudate and their functions (White & Cutting, 2006; Barrett, 2015)