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NSF grant will aid Wayne State professors' mathematical modeling of fatty liver predictors
Date:1/19/2012

sponse to disturbances, we can actually achieve a better model with narrower levels of error associated with our predictions," Matthew said.

A preliminary model using cultured liver cells already has achieved some reasonably good results, he said. The current NSF award is geared toward refining that model and collecting more accurate dynamic data.

The team will use perfusion systems that allow researchers to maintain precise levels of metabolites outside cells and to change them instantaneously, looking at response rates of cells to disturbances. Fluorescent lipids will be used so researchers can detect which ones the cells are taking up and how fast they are being redistributed. The team then can model the nature of metabolites being distributed.

"We're looking for changes that occur in minutes to hours in order to refine the model," Matthew said. "The liver typically begins responding within minutes."

Researchers must ascertain the accuracy of prediction at the cellular level before moving to animals and beyond, he said.

"We want our model to predict with a limited amount of data in order to identify which areas might be the key differences between individuals," Matthew said. "That allows biologists and physicians to narrow their focus to particular areas and possibly screen particular enzymes as drug targets.

"Our long-term goal is to use these kinds of models to find out why different people respond to treatments in different ways, so that we can develop a personalized medicine approach to treating the liver or any other tissues."


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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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