Mathematical Modeling of Tumor Growth
Timothy Newman and his group in the ASU Center for Biological Physics (CBP), and coordinated locally with experimental projects 1 (AFM probe of cancer cell material properties) and 3 (topology of distorted nuclei in cancer cells). Newman has developed the Subcellular Element Model (SEM), which is an algorithm designed to simulate large multicellular systems, with special attention to the three-dimensional nature of cell deformations and biomechanics.
A new phase of SEM development within this Core will be to couple (primarily physical) cell behavior with simple models of intracellular gene expression and cell-cell signaling. The SEM was originally designed to model cell movement patterns in developing embryonic systems. Cancer tumors lack the organization of embryos, but share the feature of emergent properties arising from a large number of strongly interacting cells. Thus, we are excited at the prospect of offering the powerful SEM platform as a shared resource to other PS-OCs within the Network, especially for groups with experimental programs involving physical measurements of tumors or other multicellular structures.