Multiscale Computational Simulations of Fiber Remodeling and Cell Compaction in Collagen Gels

Edward Sander (May 2, 2012)

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Multiscale mechanical interactions are scale spanning physical interactions between the tissue and the extracellular matrix (ECM). They are involved in a variety of biological phenomena, including tissue growth, remodeling, disease, and damage. These interactions are important to characterize because they control both the mechanical behavior of the tissue and the manner in which mechanical signals are propagated to the cellular level. In this talk I will discuss recent work where we incorporate (1) fiber-level rules that govern enzymatic degradation and growth and (2) contractile elements that simulate cell compaction and a redistribution of forces within the surrounding fiber networks into our multiscale modeling framework. Understanding the role of these processes is crucial to comprehending and controlling the integrated response of the mechanical environment in a number of biological contexts.