The role of Computer Aided Process Engineering in physiology and clinical medicine.
Computers and Chemical Engineering
This paper discusses the potential role for Computer Aided Process Engineering (CAPE) in developing engineering analysis and design approaches to biological systems across multiple levels—cell signalling networks, gene, protein and metabolic networks, cellular systems, through to physiological systems. The 21st Century challenge in the Life Sciences is to bring together widely dispersed models and knowledge in order to enable a system-wide understanding of these complex systems. This systems level understanding should have broad clinical benefits. Computer Aided Process Engineering can bring systems approaches to (i) improving understanding of these complex chemical and physical (particularly molecular transport in complex flow regimes) interactions at multiple scales in living systems, (ii) analysis of these models to help to identify critical missing information and to explore the consequences on major output variables resulting from disturbances to the system, and (iii) ‘design’ potential interventions in in vivo systems which can have significant beneficial, or potentially harmful, effects which need to be understood. This paper develops these three themes drawing on recent projects at UCL. The first project has modeled the effects of blood flow on endothelial cells lining arteries, taking into account cell shape change resulting in changes in the cell skeleton which cause consequent chemical changes. A second is a project which is building an in silico model of the human liver, tieing together models from the molecular level to the liver. The composite model models glucose regulation in the liver and associated organs. Both projects involve molecular transport, chemical reactions, and complex multiscale systems, tackled by approaches from CAPE. Chemical Engineers solve multiple scale problems in manufacturing processes – from molecular scale through unit operations scale to plant-wide and enterprise wide systems – so have an appropriate skill set for tackling problems in physiology and clinical medicine, in collaboration with life and clinical scientists.
|Title:||The role of Computer Aided Process Engineering in physiology and clinical medicine|
|Open access status:||An open access version is available from UCL Discovery|
|Additional information:||This paper is based on the plenary lecture of the same title given at the 19th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering in Krakow, June 2009|
|Keywords:||Computer Aided Process Engineering, process systems engineering, systems biology, systems medicine, modelling, engineering design|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > CoMPLEX - Maths and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology|
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