Theoretical biology medical modelling [journal]
- Feed-forward neural network model for hunger and satiety related VAS score prediction. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016; 13(1):17.
An artificial neural network approach was chosen to model the outcome of the complex signaling pathways in the gastro-intestinal tract and other peripheral organs that eventually produce the satiety feeling in the brain upon feeding.A multilayer feed-forward neural network was trained with sets of experimental data relating concentration-time courses of plasma satiety hormones to Visual Analog Scales (VAS) scores. The network successfully predicted VAS responses from sets of satiety hormone data obtained in experiments using different food compositions.The correlation coefficients for the predicted VAS responses for test sets having i) a full set of three satiety hormones, ii) a set of only two satiety hormones, and iii) a set of only one satiety hormone were 0.96, 0.96, and 0.89, respectively. The predicted VAS responses discriminated the satiety effects of high satiating food types from less satiating food types both in orally fed and ileal infused forms.From this application of artificial neural networks, one may conclude that neural network models are very suitable to describe situations where behavior is complex and incompletely understood. However, training data sets that fit the experimental conditions need to be available.
- Long range physical cell-to-cell signalling via mitochondria inside membrane nanotubes: a hypothesis. [Journal Article, Review]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016; 13(1):16.
Coordinated interaction of single cells by cell-to-cell communication (signalling) enables complex behaviour necessary for the functioning of multicellular organisms. A quite newly discovered cell-to-cell signalling mechanism relies on nanotubular cell-co-cell connections, termed "membrane nanotubes" (MNTs). The present paper presents the hypothesis that mitochondria inside MNTs can form a connected structure (mitochondrial network) which enables the exchange of energy and signals between cells. It is proposed that two modes of energy and signal transmission may occur: electrical/electrochemical and electromagnetic (optical). Experimental work supporting the hypothesis is reviewed, and suggestions for future research regarding the discussed topic are given.
- Application of the backstepping method to the prediction of increase or decrease of infected population. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016; 13(1):15.
In mathematical epidemiology, age-structured epidemic models have usually been formulated as the boundary-value problems of the partial differential equations. On the other hand, in engineering, the backstepping method has recently been developed and widely studied by many authors.Using the backstepping method, we obtained a boundary feedback control which plays the role of the threshold criteria for the prediction of increase or decrease of newly infected population. Under an assumption that the period of infectiousness is same for all infected individuals (that is, the recovery rate is given by the Dirac delta function multiplied by a sufficiently large positive constant), the prediction method is simplified to the comparison of the numbers of reported cases at the current and previous time steps.Our prediction method was applied to the reported cases per sentinel of influenza in Japan from 2006 to 2015 and its accuracy was 0.81 (404 correct predictions to the total 500 predictions). It was higher than that of the ARIMA models with different orders of the autoregressive part, differencing and moving-average process. In addition, a proposed method for the estimation of the number of reported cases, which is consistent with our prediction method, was better than that of the best-fitted ARIMA model ARIMA(1,1,0) in the sense of mean square error.Our prediction method based on the backstepping method can be simplified to the comparison of the numbers of reported cases of the current and previous time steps. In spite of its simplicity, it can provide a good prediction for the spread of influenza in Japan.
- Epidemic cycling in a multi-strain SIRS epidemic network model. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:14.
One common observation in infectious diseases caused by multi-strain pathogens is that both the incidence of all infections and the relative fraction of infection with each strain oscillate with time (i.e., so-called Epidemic cycling). Many different mechanisms have been proposed for the pervasive nature of epidemic cycling. Nevertheless, the two facts that people contact each other through a network rather than following a simple mass-action law and most infectious diseases involve multiple strains have not been considered together for their influence on the epidemic cycling.To demonstrate how the structural contacts among people influences the dynamical patterns of multi-strain pathogens, we investigate a two strain epidemic model in a network where every individual randomly contacts with a fixed number of other individuals. The standard pair approximation is applied to describe the changing numbers of individuals in different infection states and contact pairs.We show that spatial correlation due to contact network and interactions between strains through both ecological interference and immune response interact to generate epidemic cycling. Compared to one strain epidemic model, the two strain model presented here can generate epidemic cycling within a much wider parameter range that covers many infectious diseases.Our results suggest that co-circulation of multiple strains within a contact network provides an explanation for epidemic cycling.
- Random walk of passive tracers among randomly moving obstacles. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:13.
This study is mainly motivated by the need of understanding how the diffusion behavior of a biomolecule (or even of a larger object) is affected by other moving macromolecules, organelles, and so on, inside a living cell, whence the possibility of understanding whether or not a randomly walking biomolecule is also subject to a long-range force field driving it to its target.By means of the Continuous Time Random Walk (CTRW) technique the topic of random walk in random environment is here considered in the case of a passively diffusing particle among randomly moving and interacting obstacles.The relevant physical quantity which is worked out is the diffusion coefficient of the passive tracer which is computed as a function of the average inter-obstacles distance.The results reported here suggest that if a biomolecule, let us call it a test molecule, moves towards its target in the presence of other independently interacting molecules, its motion can be considerably slowed down.
- Assessing potential countermeasures against the dengue epidemic in non-tropical urban cities. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:12.
Dengue is a common mosquito-borne viral disease epidemic especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions where water sanitation is not substantially controlled. However, dengue epidemics sometimes occur in non-tropical urban cities with substantial water sanitary control. Using a mathematical model, we investigate what conditions can be important for a dengue epidemic to occur in an urban city such as Tokyo, where vectors are active only in summer and there are little number of vectors around hosts.The model, which is a modified Ross-Macdonald model, consists of two sets of host-vector compartments. The two sets correspond to high-risk and low-risk areas, and only hosts can move between them. Assuming that mosquitoes have constant activity for only 90 days, we assess five potential countermeasures: (1) restricted movement between the two areas, (2) insecticide application, (3) use of repellents, (4) vector control, and (5) isolation of the infected.The basic reproduction number R 0 and the cumulative number of infected hosts for 90 days are evaluated for each of the five countermeasures. In the cases of Measures 2-5, the cumulative number of the infected for 90 days can be reduced substantially for small R 0 even if R 0>1. Although R 0 for Measure 1 monotonically decreases with the mobility rates, the cumulative number of the infected for 90 days has a maximum at a moderate mobility rate. If the mobility rate is sufficiently small, the restricted movement effectively increases the number density of vectors in the high-risk area, and the epidemic starts earlier in the high-risk area than in the low-risk one, while the growth of infections is slow.Measures 2-5 are more or less effective. However, Measure 1 can have the opposite effect, depending on the mobility rates. The restricted movement results in the formation of a kind of core population, which can promote the epidemic in the entire population.
- The organelle of differentiation in embryos: the cell state splitter. [Journal Article, Review]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:11.
The cell state splitter is a membraneless organelle at the apical end of each epithelial cell in a developing embryo. It consists of a microfilament ring and an intermediate filament ring subtending a microtubule mat. The microtubules and microfilament ring are in mechanical opposition as in a tensegrity structure. The cell state splitter is bistable, perturbations causing it to contract or expand radially. The intermediate filament ring provides metastability against small perturbations. Once this snap-through organelle is triggered, it initiates signal transduction to the nucleus, which changes gene expression in one of two readied manners, causing its cell to undergo a step of determination and subsequent differentiation. The cell state splitter also triggers the cell state splitters of adjacent cells to respond, resulting in a differentiation wave. Embryogenesis may be represented then as a bifurcating differentiation tree, each edge representing one cell type. In combination with the differentiation waves they propagate, cell state splitters explain the spatiotemporal course of differentiation in the developing embryo. This review is excerpted from and elaborates on "Embryogenesis Explained" (World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2016).
- Modeling immune response and its effect on infectious disease outbreak dynamics. [Journal Article]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:10.
In recent epidemiological models, immunity is incorporated as a simplified value that determines the capacity of an individual to become infected or to transmit the disease. Moreover, the quality of the immune response determines the chances of infection and the length of time an individual is capable to infect others. We present a model that incorporates individuals' immune responses to, further, examine the role of the collective immune response of individuals in a population during an infectious outbreak.We constructed a contagion model that incorporates the collective immune response of individuals represented by the superposition of individual immune responses (PIR). Multiple probability distributions are used to represent the immunocompetence of different age groups, thereby modeling the concept of Population Immune Response (PIR). Multiple experiments were conducted in which the population is divided in different age groups for which each group has a unique immune response quality and thus a different length for its immune periods. Finally, we explored the effects of implementing different vaccination strategies in the population.The experiments displayed important variations in the outbreak dynamics as a consequence of incorporating PIR in homogeneous and mixed populations. The experiments showed that individuals with weak immune responses and those who are immune to the pathogen play a significant role in shaping the outbreak dynamics. Finally, after implementing different vaccination strategies, the results suggest that if vaccination resources are limited, the vaccination should be targeted towards individuals that spread the disease for a longer period of time.Our results suggest that it is essential for the public health establishment to increase their understanding of the characteristics of regional demographics that could impact the quality of the immune response of the individuals. The results indicate that it is necessary to further investigate mitigation strategies to limit the capacity to transmit the disease by individuals that spread the pathogen for extended periods of time. Ultimately, this study suggests that it is crucial for public health researchers to identify appropriate targeted vaccination regimes and to explore the link between PIR and outbreak dynamics to improve the monitoring and mitigating efforts of ongoing and future epidemics.
- A physiologically-based flow network model for hepatic drug elimination III: 2D/3D DLA lobule models. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:9.
One of the major issues in current pharmaceutical development is potential hepatotoxicity and drug-induced liver damage. This is due to the unique metabolic processes performed in the liver to prevent accumulation of a wide range of chemicals in the blood. Recently, we developed a physiologically-based lattice model to address the transport and metabolism of drugs in the liver lobule (liver functional unit).In this paper, we extend our idealized model to consider structural and spatial variability in two and three dimensions. We introduce a hexagonal-based model with one input (portal vein) and six outputs (hepatic veins) to represent a typical liver lobule. To capture even more realistic structures, we implement a novel sequential diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) method to construct a morphological sinusoid network in the lobule. A 3D model constructed with stacks of multiple 2D sinusoid realizations is explored to study the effects of 3D structural variations. The role of liver zonation on drug metabolism in the lobule is also addressed, based on flow-based predicted steady-state O2 profiles used as a zonation indicator.With this model, we analyze predicted drug concentration levels observed exiting the lobule with their detailed distribution inside the lobule, and compare with our earlier idealized models. In 2D, due to randomness of the sinusoidal structure, individual hepatic veins respond differently (i.e. at different times) to injected drug. In 3D, however, the variation of response to the injected drug is observed to be less extreme. Also, the production curves show more diffusive behavior in 3D than in 2D.Although, the individual producing ports respond differently, the average lobule production summed over all hepatic veins is more diffuse. Thus the net effect of all these variations makes the overall response smoother. We also show that, in 3D, the effect of zonation on drug production characteristics appears quite small. Our new biophysical structural analysis of a physiologically-based 3D lobule can therefore form the basis for a quantitative assessment of liver function and performance both in health and disease.
- Modeling glucose and free fatty acid kinetics in glucose and meal tolerance test. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]
- Theor Biol Med Model 2016.:8.
Quantitative evaluation of insulin regulation on plasma glucose and free fatty acid (FFA) in response to external glucose challenge is clinically important to assess the development of insulin resistance (World J Diabetes 1:36-47, 2010). Mathematical minimal models (MMs) based on insulin modified frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IM-FSIGT) are widely applied to ascertain an insulin sensitivity index (IEEE Rev Biomed Eng 2:54-96, 2009). Furthermore, it is important to investigate insulin regulation on glucose and FFA in postprandial state as a normal physiological condition. A simple way to calculate the appearance rate (Ra) of glucose and FFA would be especially helpful to evaluate glucose and FFA kinetics for clinical applications.A new MM is developed to simulate the insulin modulation of plasma glucose and FFA, combining IM-FSIGT with a mixed meal tolerance test (MT). A novel simple functional form for the appearance rate (Ra) of glucose or FFA in the MT is developed. Model results are compared with two other models for data obtained from 28 non-diabetic women (13 African American, 15 white).The new functional form for Ra of glucose is an acceptable empirical approximation to the experimental Ra for a subset of individuals. When both glucose and FFA are included in FSIGT and MT, the new model is preferred using the Bayes Information Criterion (BIC).Model simulations show that the new MM allows consistent application to both IM-FSIGT and MT data, balancing model complexity and data fitting. While the appearance of glucose in the circulation has an important effect on FFA kinetics in MT, the rate of appearance of FFA can be neglected for the time-period modeled.