Modeling Multicellular Systems Using Subcellular Elements

  • Received: 01 April 2005 Accepted: 29 June 2018 Published: 01 August 2005
  • MSC : 92C10, 92C15, 82C31.

  • We introduce a model for describing the dynamics of large numbers of interacting cells. The fundamental dynamical variables in the model are subcellular elements, which interact with each other through phenomenological intra- and intercellular potentials. Advantages of the model include i) adaptive cell-shape dynamics, ii) flexible accommodation of additional intracellular biology, and iii) the absence of an underlying grid. We present here a detailed description of the model, and use successive mean-field approximations to connect it to more coarse-grained approaches, such as discrete cell-based algorithms and coupled partial differential equations. We also discuss efficient algorithms for encoding the model, and give an example of a simulation of an epithelial sheet. Given the biological flexibility of the model, we propose that it can be used effectively for modeling a range of multicellular processes, such as tumor dynamics and embryogenesis.

    Citation: T. J. Newman. Modeling Multicellular Systems Using Subcellular Elements[J]. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2005, 2(3): 613-624. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2005.2.613

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  • We introduce a model for describing the dynamics of large numbers of interacting cells. The fundamental dynamical variables in the model are subcellular elements, which interact with each other through phenomenological intra- and intercellular potentials. Advantages of the model include i) adaptive cell-shape dynamics, ii) flexible accommodation of additional intracellular biology, and iii) the absence of an underlying grid. We present here a detailed description of the model, and use successive mean-field approximations to connect it to more coarse-grained approaches, such as discrete cell-based algorithms and coupled partial differential equations. We also discuss efficient algorithms for encoding the model, and give an example of a simulation of an epithelial sheet. Given the biological flexibility of the model, we propose that it can be used effectively for modeling a range of multicellular processes, such as tumor dynamics and embryogenesis.
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    © 2005 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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