Purdue University Graduate School
Computational Mechanobiology of Wound Healing Following BCS.pdf (24.03 MB)
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posted on 2023-04-28, 01:12 authored by Zachary Joseph HarbinZachary Joseph Harbin

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer type worldwide. Given high survivorship, increased focus has been placed on long-term treatment outcomes and patient quality of life. While breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is the preferred treatment strategy for early-stage breast cancer, anticipated healing and breast deformation (cosmetic) outcomes weigh heavily on surgeon and patient selection between BCS and more aggressive mastectomy procedures. Unfortunately, surgical outcomes following BCS are difficult to predict, owing to the complexity of the tissue repair process and significant patient-to-patient variability. To overcome this challenge, we developed a predictive computational mechanobiological model that simulates breast healing and deformation following BCS. The coupled biochemical-biomechanical model incorporates multi-scale cell and tissue mechanics, including collagen deposition and remodeling, collagen-dependent cell migration and contractility, and tissue plastic deformation. Available human clinical data evaluating cavity contraction and histopathological data from an experimental porcine lumpectomy study were used for model calibration. The computational model was successfully fit to data by optimizing biochemical and mechanobiological parameters through the Gaussian Process. The calibrated model was then applied to define key mechanobiological parameters and relationships influencing healing and breast deformation outcomes. Variability in patient characteristics including cavity-to-breast volume percentage and breast composition were further evaluated to determine effects on cavity contraction and breast cosmetic outcomes, with simulation outcomes aligning well with previously reported human studies. The proposed model has the potential to assist surgeons and their patients in developing and discussing individualized treatment plans that lead to more satisfying post-surgical outcomes and improved quality of life.


NSF CMMI 1911346

NSF SBIR 1913626


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Adrian Buganza Tepole

Additional Committee Member 2

Taeyoon Kim

Additional Committee Member 3

Hector Gomez