Models and numerical methods for wound healing

Tissue repair is an essential mechanism for ensuring the integrity of an organism and protection from external aggression, and it is active throughout life, from the embryonic stage to adulthood. Recent studies have shown that many genes involved in embryonic dorsal closure in Drosophila melanogaster (a fruit fly used as a model organism in genetic research) also play a role in the healing of vertebrates, and there are many similarities at the cellular level. The description of the mechanisms that take place in the embryos may allow a greater understanding of cicatrization in vertebrates.
One goal of this research concerns the development of mathematical models for wound healing. The construction of sophisticated quantitative models is limited by the absence of stable methods of disruption in the system and direct measurement of forces. This research is multidisciplinary and it is realized in collaboration with L. Almeida, a mathematician at the University Pierre et Marie Curie, along with biologists (S. Vincent, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and A. Jacinto, University of Lisbon), who perform the experimental part, made in wild type and mutant Drosophila embryos. Along with S. Vincent, we are also trying to identify the physical parameters that govern the morphogenetic movements (extracted from videos made by confocal microscopy) during dorsal closure in Drosophila embryos.


  1. L. Almeida, P. Bagnerini, Multi-scale tissular-cellular model for wound healing, AIMS Series on Applied Mathematics, vol. 8, 293-300 (2014).
  2. L. Almeida, P. Bagnerini, A. Habbal, Modeling actin cable contraction, Computers and Mathematics with Applications, 64-3, pp. 310-321 (2012).
  3. L. Almeida, P. Bagnerini, A. Habbal, S. Noselli, F. Serman, A Mathematical Model for Dorsal Closure, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 268, n. 1, 105-119 (2011).
  4. M. Gettings, F. Serman, R. Rousset, P. Bagnerini, L. Almeida, S. Noselli, JNK Signalling Controls Remodelling of the Segment Boundary Through Cell Reprogramming During Drosophila Morphogenesis, Plos Biology, 8 (6) (2010).