IMA Postdoc Seminar (November 27, 2007)

Speaker: Victor Barocas (University of Minnesota)

Title: Multiscale mechanical modeling of bioartificial tissues

Abstract: As biopolymer-based tissue engineering matures as a discipline, we are faced with a fundamental challenge: we understand to a degree how changes in fabrication and culture conditions can affect the structure and composition of the final model tissue, but we do not understand how those changes determine the mechanical properties. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the structural scale of the network is in microns (or tens of microns), but the functional scale is millimeters to centimeters. Our group uses volume averaging theory to develop models of bioartificial tissue mechanics based on a microscopic-scale network model coupled to a macroscopic-scale continuum model. The model has been applied to collagen gels, and also to a simplified model of arterial tissue. The talk will present the model as well as some more recent work on a biphasic formulation (accounting for interstitial flow) and on an extension to migrating cells.