skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Macklin, Paul"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Modern agent-based models (ABM) and other simulation models require evaluation and testing of many different parameters. Managing that testing for large scale parameter sweeps (grid searches), as well as storing simulation data, requires multiple, potentially customizable steps that may vary across simulations. Furthermore, parameter testing, processing, and analysis are slowed if simulation and processing jobs cannot be shared across teammates or computational resources. While high-performance computing (HPC) has become increasingly available, models can often be tested faster with the use of multiple computers and HPC resources. To address these issues, we created the Distributed Automated Parameter Testing (DAPT) Python package. By hosting parameters in an online (and often free) “database”, multiple individuals can run parameter sets simultaneously in a distributed fashion, enabling ad hoc crowdsourcing of computational power. Combining this with a flexible, scriptable tool set, teams can evaluate models and assess their underlying hypotheses quickly. Here, we describe DAPT and provide an example demonstrating its use.
  2. Abstract

    Colorectal cancer and other cancers often metastasize to the liver in later stages of the disease, contributing significantly to patient death. While the biomechanical properties of the liver parenchyma (normal liver tissue) are known to affect tumor cell behavior in primary and metastatic tumors, the role of these properties in driving or inhibiting metastatic inception remains poorly understood, as are the longer-term multicellular dynamics. This study adopts a multi-model approach to study the dynamics of tumor-parenchyma biomechanical interactions during metastatic seeding and growth. We employ a detailed poroviscoelastic model of a liver lobule to study how micrometastases disrupt flow and pressure on short time scales. Results from short-time simulations in detailed single hepatic lobules motivate constitutive relations and biological hypotheses for a minimal agent-based model of metastatic growth in centimeter-scale tissue over months-long time scales. After a parameter space investigation, we find that the balance of basic tumor-parenchyma biomechanical interactions on shorter time scales (adhesion, repulsion, and elastic tissue deformation over minutes) and longer time scales (plastic tissue relaxation over hours) can explain a broad range of behaviors of micrometastases, without the need for complex molecular-scale signaling. These interactions may arrest the growth of micrometastases in a dormant statemore »and prevent newly arriving cancer cells from establishing successful metastatic foci. Moreover, the simulations indicate ways in which dormant tumors could “reawaken” after changes in parenchymal tissue mechanical properties, as may arise during aging or following acute liver illness or injury. We conclude that the proposed modeling approach yields insight into the role of tumor-parenchyma biomechanics in promoting liver metastatic growth, and advances the longer term goal of identifying conditions to clinically arrest and reverse the course of late-stage cancer.

    « less
  3. Abstract Increasingly sophisticated experiments, coupled with large-scale computational models, have the potential to systematically test biological hypotheses to drive our understanding of multicellular systems. In this short review, we explore key challenges that must be overcome to achieve robust, repeatable data-driven multicellular systems biology. If these challenges can be solved, we can grow beyond the current state of isolated tools and datasets to a community-driven ecosystem of interoperable data, software utilities, and computational modeling platforms. Progress is within our grasp, but it will take community (and financial) commitment.
  4. We present an integrated framework for enabling dynamic exploration of design spaces for cancer immunotherapies with detailed dynamical simulation models on high-performance computing resources. Our framework combines PhysiCell, an open source agent-based simulation platform for cancer and other multicellular systems, and EMEWS, an open source platform for extreme-scale model exploration. We build an agent-based model of immunosurveillance against heterogeneous tumours, which includes spatial dynamics of stochastic tumour–immune contact interactions. We implement active learning and genetic algorithms using high-performance computing workflows to adaptively sample the model parameter space and iteratively discover optimal cancer regression regions within biological and clinical constraints.