Mathematical modelling of the viable epidermis: impact of cell shape and vertical arrangement

Rebecca Wittum*, Arne Naegel, Michael Heisig, Gabriel Wittum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In-silico methods are valuable tools for understanding the barrier function of the skin. The key benefit is that mathematical modelling allows the interplay between cell shape and function to be elucidated. This study focuses on the viable (living) epidermis. For this region, previous works suggested a diffusion model and an approximation of the cells by hexagonal prisms. The work at hand extends this in three ways. First, the extracellular space is treated with full spatial resolution. This induces a decrease of permeability by about 10%. Second, cells of tetrakaidecahedral shape are considered, in addition to the original hexagonal prisms. For both cell types, the resulting membrane permeabilities are compared. Third, for the first time, the influence of cell stacking in the vertical direction is considered. This is particularly important for the stratum granulosum, where tight junctions are present.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108128651774329
JournalMathematics and Mechanics of Solids
StatePublished - Dec 6 2017


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