Mathematical Modeling of Complex Biological Systems: A Kinetic Theory Approach

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 10, 2007 - Science - 188 pages
ContentsandScienti?cAims The scienti?c community is aware that the great scienti?c revolution of this century will be the mathematical formalization, by methods of applied mathematics, of complex biological systems. A fascinating prospect is that biological sciences will ?nally be supported by rigorous investigation me- ods and tools, similar to what happened in the past two centuries in the case of mechanical and physical sciences. It is not an easy task, considering that new mathematical methods maybeneededtodealwiththeinnercomplexityofbiologicalsystemswhich exhibit features and behaviors very di?erent from those of inert matter. Microscopic entities in biology, say cells in a multicellular system, are characterized by biological functions and the ability to organize their dynamics and interactions with other cells. Indeed, cells organize their dynamics according to the above functions, while classical particles follow deterministic laws of Newtonian mechanics. Cells have a life according to a cell cycle which ends up with a programmed death. The dialogue among cells can modify their behavior. The activity of cells includes proliferation and/or destructive events which may, in some cases, result in dangerously reproductive events. Finally, a cellular system may move far from eq- librium in physical situations where classical particles generally show a tendency toward equilibrium. An additional source of complexity is that biological systems always need a multiscale approach. Speci?cally, the dynamics of a cell, including its life, are ruled by sub-cellular entities, while most of the phenomena can be e?ectively observed only at the macroscopic scale.
 

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About the author (2007)

This book describes the evolution of several socio-biological systems using mathematical kinetic theory. Specifically, it deals with modeling and simulations of biological systems—comprised of large populations of interacting cells—whose dynamics follow the rules of mechanics as well as rules governed by their own ability to organize movement and biological functions. The authors propose a new biological model for the analysis of competition between cells of an aggressive host and cells of a corresponding immune system.

Because the microscopic description of a biological system is far more complex than that of a physical system of inert matter, a higher level of analysis is needed to deal with such complexity. Mathematical models using kinetic theory may represent a way to deal with such complexity, allowing for an understanding of phenomena of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics not described by the traditional macroscopic approach. The proposed models are related to the generalized Boltzmann equation and describe the population dynamics of several interacting elements (kinetic populations models).

The particular models proposed by the authors are based on a framework related to a system of integro-differential equations, defining the evolution of the distribution function over the microscopic state of each element in a given system. Macroscopic information on the behavior of the system is obtained from suitable moments of the distribution function over the microscopic states of the elements involved. The book follows a classical research approach applied to modeling real systems, linking the observation of biological phenomena, collection of experimental data, modeling, and computational simulations to validate the proposed models. Qualitative analysis techniques are used to identify the prediction ability of specific models.

The book will be a valuable resource for applied mathematicians as well as researchers in the field of biological sciences. It may be used for advanced graduate courses and seminars in biological systems modeling with applications to collective social behavior, immunology, and epidemiology.

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