All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Dale Feldman

Advisory Committee Members

Alan Eberhardt

Larisa Pereboyeva

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) School of Engineering


Incision wounds are a clinical problem due to insufficient strength with cosmeti-cally and functionally unacceptable scarring. The primary goals of therapy are increasing the rate of tissue repair and reducing scar stiffness. Assessment of the wounds is neces-sary to determine the state of the tissue in terms of strength, stiffness, and function as well as to compare the efficacy of various treatments and therapies. Mechanical testing can reveal both the speed in which a wound is healing in addition to the amount of scar-ring that is present in a wound. Presently, mesenchymal stem cells have shown potential to heal injured tissue without scarring due to their ability to differentiate and home to site of tissue injury. Adenoviruses used in gene therapy are also promising wound healing therapies due to their ability to overexpress growth factors and optimize their production, infect skin cells at high efficiency rates, and transient transfection. This research evaluated effects of intradermal injections of human mesenchymal stem cells and an adenoviral mediated overexpression of fibromodulin on the biome-chanical properties of incisional skin wounds. Quantitative parameters derived from the load versus displacement behavior yield sensitive measures of wound breaking strength and wound stiffness. The quantitative measures can identify differences between un-treated controls and treatments over time. Further comparison to in vitro findings such as histology and western blot analysis further enhanced findings from mechanical analysis of each treatment on tissue repair and regeneration. ii Trends from tensile strength and stiffness calculations revealed that wounds treated with human mesenchymal stems cells and an adenoviral mediated overexpression of fibromodulin caused an increase in tensile strength values compared to control wounds. Stiffness values correlated with the tensile strength increase while falling short of stiff-ness values in uninjured skin levels. In addition histology revealed granulation tissue was significantly narrower in treated wounds versus untreated controls. These results suggest that mesenchymal stem cell therapy and fibromodulin overexpression affect the course of wound healing by not only speeding the rate of tissue repair, but enhancing the quality of tissue as well.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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