Date: 13 December 2017
Time: 12:45 - 13:30 (Lunch available from 12:35)
Room: RA 2501 (Ravelijn)
Title: The mathematics of burn injuries
Serious burns often result into the development of hypertrophic scar tissue and/or into contractures. Contractures result from contractile forces exerted by fibroblasts on the extracellular matrix as well as permanent deformations of skin tissue. Contractures impair the mobility of the patient. We will consider mathematical models to simulate the evolution of the physiology of deeply injured skin. The model is based on mechanical balances to model the traction forces that are exerted by the fibroblasts (skin cells), as well as the chemical interplay between several cell types, such as fibroblasts and immune cells (macrophages) is dealt with. In the presentation, we will consider both cell-based models, which track individual cells on a small scale, and continuum scale models, which are suitable for handling larger areas of the tissue. The uncertainty in the values of many parameters involved necessitates the study of the propagation of uncertainty in the input data. Using the combination of Monte Carlo techniques and Finite Element methods, we are able to investigate statistical correlations between the amount of contracture and several physiological parameters, and to estimate likelihood of occurrence of serious contractures in deep tissue injury.