Contents tagged “mathematical model”

There are 2 contents with the tag “mathematical model”:

1. Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles

Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot

Here we discuss the application and articulation of biological principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in the case of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state.

Abstract

Unlike inert objects, organisms and their cells have the ability to initiate activity by themselves, and thus change their properties or states even in the absence of an external cause. This crucial difference led us to search for principles suitable for the study organisms. We propose that cells follow the default state of proliferation with variation and motility, a principle of biological inertia. This means that in the presence of sufficient nutrients, cells will express their default state. We also propose a principle of variation that addresses two central features of organisms, variation and historicity. To address interdependence between parts, we use a third principle, the principle of organization: more specifically, the notion of the closure of constraints. Within this theoretical framework, constraints are specific theoretical entities defined by their relative stability with respect to the processes they constrain. Constraints are mutually dependent in an organized system and act on the default state.
Here we discuss the application and articulation of these principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in a specific case, that of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state. Our model has both a biological component, the cells, and a physical component, the matrix that contains collagen fibers. Cells are agents that move and proliferate unless constrained; they exert mechanical forces that i) act on collagen fibers and ii) on other cells. As fibers are organized, they constrain the cells’ ability to move and to proliferate. This model exhibits a circularity that can be interpreted in terms of the closure of constraints. Implementing our mathematical model shows that constraints to the default state are sufficient to explain the formation of mammary epithelial structures. Finally, the success of this modeling effort suggests a step-wise approach whereby additional constraints imposed by the tissue and the organism can be examined in silico and rigorously tested by in vitro and in vivo experiments, in accordance with the organicist perspective we embrace.

Citation
Montévil, Maël, and Ana Soto. 2023. “Modeling Organogenesis from Biological First Principles.” In Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot, edited by Matteo Mossio. Springer Nature. https://link.springer.com/book/9783031389672
2. Theoretical approach of ductal morphogenesis

Journal of Theoretical and Applied Vascular Research

We propose a theoretical framework to model the behavior of cells in tissues and develop an application in the case of duct morphogenesis in mammary glands.

Abstract

We developed 3D culture methods that reproduce in vitro mammary gland ductal morphogenesis. We are proposing a conceptual framework to understand morphogenetic events based on epistemologically sound biological principles instead of the common practice of using only physical principles. More specifically, our theoretical framework is based on the principle that the default state of cells is proliferation with variation and motility. We emphasize the role played by the agency of cells embedded in a gel and the circularity that is relevant for the intended process, whereby cells act upon other cells and on matrix elements, and are subject to the agentivity of neighboring cells. This circularity strongly differs from classical linear causality. Finally, our approach opens up the study of causal determination to multilevel explanations rather than to reductive ones involving only molecules in general and genes in particular.

Keywords: Morphogenesis, extracellular matrix, theoretical principles, default state of cells, modelization.

Citation
Montevil, M., Carlos Sonnenschein, and Ana M. Soto. 2016. “Theoretical Approach of Ductal Morphogenesis.” Journal of Theoretical and Applied Vascular Research 1 (1): 45–49. https://doi.org/10.24019/jtavr.7

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