Wound healing is a complex process that occurs after the body's tissue has been damaged or impaled by a foreign object. Cells must travel from all over the body to the site of injury. The goal of this project is to understand what affects the migration of fibroblast cells in order to develop more effective wound treatments. Our research has aimed to develop a way to map the decision-making processes of fibroblasts that drive their migration to a wound site. We have addressed this by asking the question: can cells solve mazes? Our team has developed several methodologies by which we have been able to study the responsiveness of fibroblasts to certain cues. Specifically the migration of the cells has been tracked relative to physical barriers created by the walls of the maze and chemical concentration gradients. Preliminary results have demonstrated the feasibility of this apparatus for a mode of studying cell proliferation and migration.
Mappus, E.; Hlavac, N.; Harvey, T.; Peterson, B.; Olang, S.; Keeley, R.; O'Kelly, M.; Vo, H.; Chowdhury, A.; Robinson, E.; Williams, K.; and Dean, D., "Can cells solve mazes? Understanding cells responses to wound healing" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 87.