Cell population dynamics modulate the rates of tissue growth processes.
The development and testing of a discrete model describing the dynamic process of tissue growth in three-dimensional scaffolds is presented. The model considers populations of cells that execute persistent random walks on the computational grid, collide, and proliferate until they reach confluence. To isolate the effect of population dynamics on tissue growth, the model assumes that nutrient and growth factor concentrations remain constant in space and time. Simulations start either by distributing the seed cells uniformly and randomly throughout the scaffold, or from an initial condition designed to simulate the migration and cell proliferation phase of wound healing. Simulations with uniform seeding show that cell migration enhances tissue growth by counterbalancing the adverse effects of contact inhibition. This beneficial effect, however, diminishes and disappears completely for large migration speeds. By contrast, simulations with the "wound" seeding mode show a continual enhancement of tissue regeneration rates with increasing cell migration speeds. We conclude that cell locomotory parameters and the spatial distribution of seed cells can have profound effects on the dynamics of the process and, consequently, on the pattern and rates of tissue growth. These results can guide the design of experiments for testing the effectiveness of biomimetic modifications for stimulating tissue growth.