Wound healing is made up of 3 processes: the formation of the epithelium, the deposition of connective tissue and contraction.
The contraction process could 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 may appear more biologically relevant than studies using two-dimensional systems.
We offer 2 different culture models to study the ability of fibroblasts to reorganize and contract in collagen matrices in vitro:
The 2-step model combines an initial period of contraction of the attached matrix leading to mechanical loading, followed by release of the matrices, which results in mechanical unloading and additional contraction when the mechanical stress dissipates.
The floating matrix contraction model. In this model, a freshly polymerized collagen matrix containing cells is released from the culture dish and left free in the culture medium. The contraction occurs in the absence of external mechanical load and without the appearance of stress fibers in the cells.