Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2014 Oct 21;107(8):1829-1840. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2014.08.029.

Remodeling of fibrous extracellular matrices by contractile cells: predictions from discrete fiber network simulations.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address: vshenoy@seas.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Contractile forces exerted on the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) lead to the alignment and stretching of constituent fibers within the vicinity of cells. As a consequence, the matrix reorganizes to form thick bundles of aligned fibers that enable force transmission over distances larger than the size of the cells. Contractile force-mediated remodeling of ECM fibers has bearing on a number of physiologic and pathophysiologic phenomena. In this work, we present a computational model to capture cell-mediated remodeling within fibrous matrices using finite element-based discrete fiber network simulations. The model is shown to accurately capture collagen alignment, heterogeneous deformations, and long-range force transmission observed experimentally. The zone of mechanical influence surrounding a single contractile cell and the interaction between two cells are predicted from the strain-induced alignment of fibers. Through parametric studies, the effect of cell contractility and cell shape anisotropy on matrix remodeling and force transmission are quantified and summarized in a phase diagram. For highly contractile and elongated cells, we find a sensing distance that is ten times the cell size, in agreement with experimental observations.

PMID:
25418164
PMCID:
PMC4213674
DOI:
10.1016/j.bpj.2014.08.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center