Multiscale modelling of solid tumour growth: the effect of collagen micromechanics
AuthorWijeratne, P. A.
Hipwell, J. H.
Hawkes, D. J.
SourceBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
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Here we introduce a model of solid tumour growth coupled with a multiscale biomechanical description of the tumour microenvironment, which facilitates the explicit simulation of fibre–fibre and tumour–fibre interactions. We hypothesise that such a model, which provides a purely mechanical description of tumour–host interactions, can be used to explain experimental observations of the effect of collagen micromechanics on solid tumour growth. The model was specified to mouse tumour data, and numerical simulations were performed. The multiscale model produced lower stresses than an equivalent continuum-like approach, due to a more realistic remodelling of the collagen microstructure. Furthermore, solid tumour growth was found to cause a passive mechanical realignment of fibres at the tumour boundary from a random to a circumferential orientation. This is in accordance with experimental observations, thus demonstrating that such a response can be explained as purely mechanical. Finally, peritumoural fibre network anisotropy was found to produce anisotropic tumour morphology. The dependency of tumour morphology on the peritumoural microstructure was reduced by adding a load-bearing non-collagenous component to the fibre network constitutive equation. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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