Choosing an appropriate modelling framework for analysing multispecies co-culture cell biology experiments

Markham, Deborah C., Simpson, Matthew, & Baker, Ruth (2015) Choosing an appropriate modelling framework for analysing multispecies co-culture cell biology experiments. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 77(4), pp. 713-734.

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In vitro cell biology assays play a crucial role in informing our understanding of the migratory, proliferative and invasive properties of many cell types in different biological contexts. While mono-culture assays involve the study of a population of cells composed of a single cell type, co-culture assays study a population of cells composed of multiple cell types (or subpopulations of cells). Such co-culture assays can provide more realistic insights into many biological processes including tissue repair, tissue regeneration and malignant spreading. Typically, system parameters, such as motility and proliferation rates, are estimated by calibrating a mathematical or computational model to the observed experimental data. However, parameter estimates can be highly sensitive to the choice of model and modelling framework. This observation motivates us to consider the fundamental question of how we can best choose a model to facilitate accurate parameter estimation for a particular assay. In this work we describe three mathematical models of mono-culture and co-culture assays that include different levels of spatial detail. We study various spatial summary statistics to explore if they can be used to distinguish between the suitability of each model over a range of parameter space. Our results for mono-culture experiments are promising, in that we suggest two spatial statistics that can be used to direct model choice. However, co-culture experiments are far more challenging: we show that these same spatial statistics which provide useful insight into mono-culture systems are insuffcient for co-culture systems. Therefore, we conclude that great care ought to be exercised when estimating the parameters of co-culture assays.

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ID Code: 79283
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cell migration, Cell proliferation, Monolayer development, Multispecies, Co-culture assay
DOI: 10.1007/s11538-014-0050-8
ISSN: 1522-9602
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Biological Mathematics (010202)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
  • ACC/FT130100148
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Springer
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2014 00:21
Last Modified: 03 May 2016 17:12

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