An in silico modeling approach to understanding the dynamics of the post-burn immune response

H Ibrahim Korkmaz, Vivek M Sheraton, Roland V Bumbuc, Meifang Li, Anouk Pijpe, Patrick P G Mulder, Bouke K H L Boekema, Evelien de Jong, Stephan G F Papendorp, Ruud Brands, Esther Middelkoop, Peter M A Sloot, Paul P M van Zuijlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Burns are characterized by a massive and prolonged acute inflammation, which persists for up to months after the initial trauma. Due to the complexity of the inflammatory process, Predicting the dynamics of wound healing process can be challenging for burn injuries. The aim of this study was to develop simulation models for the post-burn immune response based on (pre)clinical data.

METHODS: The simulation domain was separated into blood and tissue compartments. Each of these compartments contained solutes and cell agents. Solutes comprise pro-inflammatory cytokines, anti-inflammatory cytokines and inflammation triggering factors. The solutes diffuse around the domain based on their concentration profiles. The cells include mast cells, neutrophils, and macrophages, and were modeled as independent agents. The cells are motile and exhibit chemotaxis based on concentrations gradients of the solutes. In addition, the cells secrete various solutes that in turn alter the dynamics and responses of the burn wound system.

RESULTS: We developed an Glazier-Graner-Hogeweg method-based model (GGH) to capture the complexities associated with the dynamics of inflammation after burn injuries, including changes in cell counts and cytokine levels. Through simulations from day 0 - 4 post-burn, we successfully identified key factors influencing the acute inflammatory response, i.e., the initial number of endothelial cells, the chemotaxis threshold, and the level of chemoattractants.

CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the pivotal role of the initial endothelial cell count as a key parameter for intensity of inflammation and progression of acute inflammation, 0 - 4 days post-burn.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1303776
Pages (from-to)1303776
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • burns
  • computational modeling
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • wound healing

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