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Vascular simulation research reveals new mechanism that switches in disease
Date:5/7/2014

ated (Simulant) endothelial cells, capable of generating novel, unexpected behavior, including movement, shape and signaling changes.

"Simulants can be observed individually and as an interacting social collective recapitulating a growing blood vessel, for example," she explains. "We can tinker with how we set up their internal workings and then compare the changes this causes in model behavior to real cell behaviors in order to make predictions on how the mechanisms work in real cells."

Together with CVBR investigator Erzsebet Ravasz Regan, PhD, and Andrew Philippides, PhD, of the University of Sussex, UK, Bentley recently published a review article in the April 28 issue of Developmental Cell, which examines the growing field of computer simulations in vascular biology and focuses on providing an accessible account of the illuminating principles and toolsets of the Adaptive Systems field for the cell biology community.

"The Adaptive Systems field traditionally draws on animal/insect behavior and cognition to derive general principles and inspire better robotics capable of intelligent, adaptive behavior," says Bentley. "But we wanted to highlight that it can also be a very useful perspective and mindset to approach cell biology, in other words, to understand single to collective cell behavior in complex systems, such as blood vessel growth. The approach offers useful principles for studying a wide variety of questions about health and disease."

Simulant cells' unexpected behavior reveals new in vivo mechanisms

Using this type of collaborative computational and experimental approach, Bentley and a research team from the laboratory of Holger Gerhardt, PhD, of Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute recently made an unexpected discovery about endothelial cell behavior during angiogenesis. In a study published last month in Nature Cell Biology, they showed that sprouting cells are in a continuum of mig
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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