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Biomechanics: INEGI investigation unveils scarring mechanism with computational model

23 October 2020

What happens to the cells during the scarring process? This is what a team of researchers at INEGI has been trying to discover, using numerical tools to study angiogenesis, a process that occurs during the initial period of scarring.

From this study, an innovative computational model emerges that mimics the capillary network pattern, similar to that obtained in in vivo studies. "Understanding how the diffusion of chemical factors affects the formation of new blood vessels, mapping the migration of endothelial cells and the capillary branching process, is now easier”, explains Ana Guerra, a researcher involved in the project.

This achievement translates into a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying healing, and the ability to better understand the action of therapies and drugs. Knowledge that will serve as an impetus for the development of new and better techniques for tissue regeneration and wound scarring.

Study will have important implications for wound care

Angiogenesis is the development of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels in living tissue. It is a physiological process, which occurs throughout life, and ensures sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients, essential for the correct cellular function and for the correct scarring process.

"An insufficient supply of blood to the wound is probably the main factor that impairs the scarring process. For this reason, the role of angiogenesis in this process is extremely important”, underlines the researcher.

The treatment of wounds is one of the oldest concerns in medicine, and even today it represents a relevant social and economic problem. In the British national health system (NHS) alone, an estimated annual expenditure of between 4.5 and 5.1 billion pounds is estimated for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds, as well as associated comorbidities. That is why it is so important to advance the state of scientific knowledge in this area.

In view of the success of this work, Ana Guerra says that "the next steps are to study the role of mechanical actions in this process”.