RESEARCH PROGRAMS: Past REU Participants & Project Pages

2006 REU Porjects
2006 REU Projects
2006 Participant: Caroline Harriott
Project Title: Agent-Based Simulation of Healing in a Cutaneous Wound Bed

Faculty Advisors: Peter Stapor, Bryan Thorne, and Dr. Shayn Peirce
Abstract:
Chronic wounds remain an expensive and debilitating global health burden despite concerted efforts toward their prevention and treatment. More than 5 million Americans suffer from chronic wounds annually with 1.8 million patients in the United States developing new pressure ulcers each year. An average 20-30 day hospital stay is required to treat chronic wounds, which accounts for 21% of total inpatient days. Even after years of careful treatment, many chronic wounds refuse to heal, despite best available therapies. In order to improve the chances of identifying viable treatments, the complex, multi-faceted disease needs to be better understood at the "systems level". To aid this overarching goal of advancing chronic wound therapy, a computational simulation was developed to demonstrate each step of the wound healing process and allow more precise interrogation of the pathology. This work focuses on the first necessary step: developing a computational simulation of a wound that heals correctly. Follow-on work will use this simulation as a platform for studying what factors contribute to the complex etiology of chronic wounds.
(Represtations of the stages of migration for the epithelial cells during the healing of a wound)
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