Wound healing is comprised of three processes: epithelialization, connective tissue deposition, and contraction. The contraction process is believed to be mediated by specialized fibroblasts called myofibroblasts. Three-dimensional collagen gels have been widely used to study fibroblast contraction, integrin signaling, cell apoptosis and cytoskeleton reorganization, which is may be more biologically relevant than studies using two-dimensional adhesions.
Cell Biolabs offers two different culture models to study the ability of fibroblasts to reorganize and contract collagen matrices in vitro. The two-step attached model combines an initial period of attached matrix contraction leading to mechanical loading, followed by release of the matrices, resulting in mechanical unloading and further contraction as mechanical stress dissipates. In the floating matrix contraction model, a freshly polymerized collagen matrix containing cells is released from the culture dish and allowed to float in culture medium, and contraction occursin the absence of external mechanical load and without appearanceof stress fibers in the cells.