Projects per year
The composition of extracellular matrix (ECM) in tendon depends on the secretion profile of resident cells known as tenocytes. For tissues with a mechanical role like tendon, mechanical strain is known to play an important role in determining the secretion profile of resident cells. Previously we explored the idea of estimating average concentrations of ECM molecules as a function of tendon strain magnitude and number of loading cycles. Specifically, we developed a model of the mechanical fatigue damage of tendon collagen fibers and introduced elementary cell responses (ECRs) by which local cellular-level responses to the strain environment, combined with the fatigue damage model, were scaled up to predict tissue-level responses. Using this approach, we demonstrated that the proposed model is capable of estimating average concentrations of ECM molecules that qualitatively accord with experimental observations. In this study, we increase model realism by extending this approach to consider the implications of a non-uniform collagen fiber distribution, and the influence of time delay on repair of damaged collagen fibers. Using this approach, we focus the study on the average tenocyte secretion profile for active transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), and discover that increasing fiber length dispersion and/or increasing repair delay leads to increasing active TGF-β concentrations, and reduced sensitivity of average concentration profile of TGF-β to tendon strain.
1/01/11 → 31/12/16