In the clinical application, the mechanical stimulation against the damaged brain tissue is adopted as the kinesitherapy for the nerve regeneration. Nevertheless, the fundamental mechanism to repair the damaged nerve cell has not been revealed yet. Recently, the cyclic stretch stimulation has been reported as the efficacious treatment method to enhance the axonal extension for regenerative therapy of injured nerve cell. Therefore, we try to develop a new cellular automaton (CA) finite element (FE) hybrid method to predict the axonal extension and nerve network generation, which can evaluate the effect of stretch stimulation on the cell body, axon and dendrites.
In the FE results, the stress concentration occurred at the junction of the axon and cell body. The maximum stress value in the axon was 8.2 kPa which is about twice as large as that of the cell body. CA adopted to predict the morphological evolution of nerve cells under the mechanical stimulation. It was confirmed that the stress affects to accelerate the axonal extension as experimentally suggested. As a result, our CAFE can be employed to simulate the axonal extension and generation of nerve network system under the condition of extra cellular mechanical stimulation.