A theoretical model for the remodeling of collagen gels is proposed. The collagen fabric is modeled as a network of collagen fibers, which in turn are composed of collagen fibrils. In the model, the strengthening of collagen fabric is accomplished by fibroblasts, which continuously recruit and attach more collagen fibrils to existing collagen fibers. The fibroblasts also accomplish a reorientation of collagen fibers. Fibroblasts are assumed to reorient collagen fibers toward the direction of maximum material stiffness. The proposed model is applied to experiments in which fibroblasts were inserted into a collagen gel. The model is able to predict the force-strain curves for the experimental collagen gels, and the final distribution of collagen fibers also agrees qualitatively with the experiments.

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