chapter  15
26 Pages

Delaunay Object Dynamics for Tissues Involving Highly Motile Cells

WithTilo Beyer, Michael Meyer-Hermann

At present a variety of methods exist to investigate and simulate the organization of cellular compounds with different levels of spatial and temporal resolution. Delaunay object dynamics (DOD) provides a platform to model different systems on a common physical basis [7,34]. The biophysics of multicellular systems, although influenced by details of the biological system in consideration, is the guiding principle common to different species or tissues.

Within the DOD platform, only the specific properties of cells in a given system have to be adapted. It allows us to separate the phenotype of a cell seen in experiments (surface markers, gene expression patterns, signaling cascades) from more universal biophysical phenotypes (such as speed, cell division, surface area, adhesion). The latter phenotypes can be mapped to physical forces acting on cells. In analogy with molecular dynamics methods, a reference “force field” representing classes of biophysical interactions forms the basis of a DOD simulation. Assuming that, on the qualitative level, biophysical properties of cells are universal, the DOD platform can be refined independently of the considered biological system. The biophysical parameters will differ on the quantitative level only, which are easily adapted.