Determination of the Radius of Fibrin Fibers for Wound Healing Applications Via the Carr-Hermans Method
The quantitative description of the structure of the biopolymer fibrin has implications in wound healing. As for any protein, the structure and morphology of fibrin is essential to its function and is conjectured to control specific aspects of the wound healing process. The wound healing process is comprised of four phases. During the initial stages of wound healing, fibrinogen and thrombin are introduced to the wound site to interactively produce fibrin fibers that provide a scaffolded structure for the wound environment [N. Laurens et al.]. As the wound healing process progresses, the fibrin fibers are enzymatically degraded and collagen fibers take the place of fibrin, ultimately resulting in the healed tissue after continued remodeling of the structure [JC Chaplin, KA Hajjar]. This enzymatic degradation of the fibrin fibers is termed fibrinolysis, a process which affects the breakdown of fibrin clots at a wound site and henceforth the healing of the skin and scarring of the tissue surrounding the wound site. The rate of breakdown of fibrin strands is affected by their structure, the thickness of the fibers being one factor affecting this process [DA Gabriel et al.]. This reveals the need for a procedure to determine the radius of the fibrin strands. This contribution will communicate a flowchart that guides one through the steps of acquiring and analyzing data to apply the Carr-Hermans Method, which leads to an estimate of the radius of the fibrin strands.