Numerical modelling of the angiogenesis process in wound contraction
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Angiogenesis consists of the growth of new blood vessels from the pre-existing vasculature. This phenomenon takes place in several biological processes, including wound healing. In this work, we present a mathematical model of angiogenesis applied to skin wound healing. The developed model includes biological (capillaries and fibroblasts), chemical (oxygen and angiogenic growth factor concentrations) and mechanical factors (cell traction forces and extracellular matrix deformation) that influence the evolution of the healing process. A novelty from previous works, apart from the coupling of angiogenesis and wound contraction, is the more realistic modelling of skin as a hyperelastic material. Large deformations are addressed using an updated Lagrangian approach. The coupled non-linear model is solved with the finite element method, and the process is studied over two wound geometries (circular and elliptical) of the same area. The results indicate that the elliptical wound vascularizes two days earlier than the circular wound but that they experience a similar contraction level, reducing its size by 25 %.
KeywordsAngiogenesis Wound healing Contraction Finite element method Mechanochemical analysis
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