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Pothen, Joshua J.; Rajendran, Vignesh; Wagner, Darcy; Weiss, Daniel J.; Smith, Bradford J.; Ma, Baoshun; Bates, Jason H. T. (2016): A Computational Model of Cellular Engraftment on Lung Scaffolds. In: Bioresearch Open Access, Vol. 5, No. 1: pp. 308-319
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The possibility that stem cells might be used to regenerate tissue is now being investigated for a variety of organs, but these investigations are still essentially exploratory and have few predictive tools available to guide experimentation. We propose, in this study, that the field of lung tissue regeneration might be better served by predictive tools that treat stem cells as agents that obey certain rules of behavior governed by both their phenotype and their environment. Sufficient knowledge of these rules of behavior would then, in principle, allow lung tissue development to be simulated computationally. Toward this end, we developed a simple agent-based computational model to simulate geographic patterns of cells seeded onto a lung scaffold. Comparison of the simulated patterns to those observed experimentally supports the hypothesis that mesenchymal stem cells proliferate preferentially toward the scaffold boundary, whereas alveolar epithelial cells do not. This demonstrates that a computational model of this type has the potential to assist in the discovery of rules of cellular behavior.