Collagen provides cardiovascular tissues with the ability to withstand haemodynamic loads. A similar network is essential to obtain in tissue-engineered (TE) samples of the same nature. Yet, the mechanism of collagen orientation is not fully understood. Typically collagen remodelling is linked to mechanical loading. However, TE constructs also show an oriented collagen network when developed under static culture. Experiments under these conditions also indicate that the tissue gradually compacts due to contractile stresses developed in the -actin fibres of the cells. Therefore, it is hypothesised that cellular contractile stresses are responsible for collagen orientation. A model describing the cellular -actin turnover and the stresses developed by them is integrated in a structural constitutive model describing the mechanical behaviour of collagen fibres. Results show that the model can successfully capture the sample compaction, tissue stress generation and its heterogeneous collagen arrangement.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|