Talks » A Multiscale Agent-based Model of Morphogenesis in Biological Systems

A Multiscale Agent-based Model of Morphogenesis in Biological Systems

Alessandro Ricci, Andrea Omicini, Sara Montagna
Studying the complex phenomenon of pattern formation created by the gene expression is a big challenge in the field of developmental biology. This spatial self-organisation autonomously emerges from the morphogenetic processes and the hierarchical organisation of biological systems seems to play a crucial role. Being able to reproduce the systems dynamics at different levels of such a hierarchy might be very useful. In this paper we propose the adoption of the agent-based model as an approach capable of capture multi-level dynamics. Each cell is modelled as an agent that absorbs and releases substances, divides, moves and autonomously regulates its gene expression. As a case study we present an agent-based model of Drosophila melanogaster morphogenesis. We then propose a formalisation of the model which clearly describe its main components. We finally show simulation results demonstrating the capability of the model of reproducing the expression pattern of the embryo.
Presented by Alessandro Ricci
The 11th National Workshop "Dagli Oggetti agli Agenti" (WOA 2010)
06/09/2010