A coupled framework of in situ and in silico analysis reveals the role of lateral force transmission in force production in volumetric muscle loss injuries.


Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States; Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Volumetric muscle loss injuries (VML) are challenging to treat because of the variability in wound location. Regenerative medicine offers promising alternative treatments, but there is little understanding of the correlation between magnitude of VML injuries and corresponding functional deficits that must be addressed. There is a need for a tool that can elucidate the relationship between VML injury and force loss, as well as the impact on specific mechanisms responsible for force production. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel coupled framework of in situ and in silico methods to more precisely understand the relationship between injury location and force production deficits. We created a three-dimensional finite-element model of the pennate latissimus dorsi (LD) muscle in the rat and validated the model experimentally. We found that the model's prediction (2.6 N/g Model I, 2.1 N/g Model V) compared favorably to in situ testing of isometric force generation of the injured rat LD muscle (2.8 ± 0.3 N/g Experimental I, 2.0 ± 0.2 N/g Experimental V). Further model analysis revealed that the contribution from lateral and longitudinal force transmission to the total force varied with injury location and led to a greater understanding of the mechanisms responsible for VML-related force deficits. In the future, the coupled computational and experimental framework can be used to inform development of preclinical VML injury models that better recapitulate the spectrum of VML injuries observed in affected patients, and the mechanistic insight can accelerate the creation of improved regenerative therapeutics for VML injuries.


Finite-element modeling,Lateral force transmission,Muscle mechanics,Tissue engineering,Volumetric muscle loss,