Modelling Stochastic Polymer Degradation by Finite Difference in Matrix Environments

Faculty Sponsor

Bethany Luke





Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-29-2021


Ligament and tendon injuries are where the soft tissue that connects muscle to bone or bone to bone has been damaged. Current medical treatments are not always successful and can cause complications for the patient. A new, promising device that is being researched for ligament and tendon replacement is a tissue scaffold. The objective of our research is to create the novel model for tissue scaffolds through computational simulations that will in turn inform researchers with more optimal designs for scaffolds. A key feature of tissue scaffolds is the biocompatibility of the device with the human body. Over time, the polymers that make up the scaffold will degrade, and the stem cells that were originally seeded into the scaffold will have differentiated into new, healthy tissue. Our goal this semester was to validate the degradation scheme and apply it to scaffold geometry. The degradation code was updated by implementing the finite difference method. With finite difference being utilized, we can see how degraded segments within the fibers are diffused throughout the rest of a polymeric fiber. The results will allow us to improve how concentration of monomers affect local pH values and degradation probabilities. Future work will include taking the results from our simulations and comparing them to experimental results to see if they are validated.

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