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Cell-Oriented Modeling of in vitro Capillary Development

Roeland M.H. Merks, Stuart A. Newman, and James A. Glazier. 2004. Cell-Oriented Modeling of in vitro Capillary Development. In Peter M.A. Sloot, et al. editors, From individual to collective behaviour. Sixth international conference on Cellular Automata for Research and Industry, volume 3305 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 425-434, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We introduce a Cellular Potts model (a cellular-automaton-based Monte-Carlo model) of in vitro capillary development, or angiogenesis. Our model derives from a recent continuum model, which assumes that vascular endothelial cells chemotactically attract each other. Our discrete model is ``cell based.'' Modeling the cells individually allows us to assign different physicochemical properties to each cell and to study how these properties affect the vascular pattern. Using the model, we assess the roles of intercellular adhesion, cell shape and chemoattractant saturation in  in vitro capillary development. We discuss how our computational model can serve as a tool for experimental biologists to “pre-test” hypotheses and to suggest new experiments.