Multiscale modelling of solid tumour growth: the effect of collagen micromechanics

Peter A. Wijeratne (Lead / Corresponding author), Vasileios Vavourakis, John H. Hipwell, Chrysovalantis Voutouri, Panagiotis Papageorgis, Triantafyllos Stylianopoulos, Andrew Evans, David J. Hawkes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Here we introduce a model of solid tumour growth coupled with a multiscale biomechanical description of the tumour microenvironment, which facilitates the explicit simulation of fibre-fibre and tumour-fibre interactions. We hypothesise that such a model, which provides a purely mechanical description of tumour-host interactions, can be used to explain experimental observations of the effect of collagen micromechanics on solid tumour growth. The model was specified to mouse tumour data, and numerical simulations were performed. The multiscale model produced lower stresses than an equivalent continuum-like approach, due to a more realistic remodelling of the collagen microstructure. Furthermore, solid tumour growth was found to cause a passive mechanical realignment of fibres at the tumour boundary from a random to a circumferential orientation. This is in accordance with experimental observations, thus demonstrating that such a response can be explained as purely mechanical. Finally, peritumoural fibre network anisotropy was found to produce anisotropic tumour morphology. The dependency of tumour morphology on the peritumoural microstructure was reduced by adding a load-bearing non-collagenous component to the fibre network constitutive equation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1079-1090
    Number of pages12
    JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
    Issue number5
    Early online date12 Nov 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


    • Algorithms
    • Animals
    • Biomechanical phenomena
    • Cell Line, Tumor
    • Cell proliferation
    • Collagen
    • Computer simulation
    • Finite element analysis
    • Humans
    • Mice
    • Models, Biological
    • Neoplasms
    • Stress, Mechanical
    • Tumor burden
    • Journal article


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