A biomechanical mathematical model for the collagen bundle distribution-dependent contraction and subsequent retraction of healing dermal wounds

Daniël C. Koppenol*, Fred J. Vermolen, Frank B. Niessen, Paul P M van Zuijlen, Kees Vuik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A continuum hypothesis-based, biomechanical model is presented for the simulation of the collagen bundle distribution-dependent contraction and subsequent retraction of healing dermal wounds that cover a large surface area. Since wound contraction mainly takes place in the dermal layer of the skin, solely a portion of this layer is included explicitly into the model. This portion of dermal layer is modeled as a heterogeneous, orthotropic continuous solid with bulk mechanical properties that are locally dependent on both the local concentration and the local geometrical arrangement of the collagen bundles. With respect to the dynamic regulation of the geometrical arrangement of the collagen bundles, it is assumed that a portion of the collagen molecules are deposited and reoriented in the direction of movement of (myo)fibroblasts. The remainder of the newly secreted collagen molecules are deposited by ratio in the direction of the present collagen bundles. Simulation results show that the distribution of the collagen bundles influences the evolution over time of both the shape of the wounded area and the degree of overall contraction of the wounded area. Interestingly, these effects are solely a consequence of alterations in the initial overall distribution of the collagen bundles, and not a consequence of alterations in the evolution over time of the different cell densities and concentrations of the modeled constituents. In accordance with experimental observations, simulation results show furthermore that ultimately the majority of the collagen molecules ends up permanently oriented toward the center of the wound and in the plane that runs parallel to the surface of the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-361
Number of pages17
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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