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Center For Applied and Computational Mathematics

Epidermal Wound Healing

The Human Skin
Faculty:  Ephraim Agyingi
  Sophia Maggelakis
  David Ross

Summary:

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and is made up of three layers: epidermis (outermost layer), dermis (inner layer) and subcutaneous tissue. A disruption in the skin that results in damage to the epidermis or dermis constitutes a wound. This research is concerned with mathematically modeling various aspects that influence the wound healing process, such as oxygen availability, growth factors, and presence of infections. Our goal is to develop models which predict the healing rate and also provide insight into possible treatments that can accelerate the healing rate.

The complexity of the wound healing process increases when bacteria are present in a wound; the bacteria interaction determines whether infection sets in. Because of underlying physiological problems infected wounds do not follow the normal healing pattern. In this work we present a mathematical model of the healing of both infected and uninfected wounds. At the core of our model is an account of the initiation of angiogenesis by macrophage-derived growth factors. We express the model as a system of reaction-diffusion equations, and we present results of computations for a version of the model with one spatial dimension.

Publications:

  1. The effect of bacteria on epidermal wound healing, E. Agyingi, S. Maggelakis, D. S. Ross, Mat. Model. Nat. Phenom, 5 (3) 28-29, 2010.