Mathematical Biology Seminar

Angela Reynolds
University of Pittsburgh
Monday February 4, 2008
3:05pm in LCB 219
"Mathematical Models of Acute Inflammation"

Abstract: Acute inflammation involves both pro- and anti- inflammatory components. The balance between these responses is key to the survival of an insult. In severe cases, unbalance can result in multiple organ dysfunction (MODS). MODS is characterized by sequential organ failure caused by an overactive immune system that persists despite treatment of the initial insult. In order to explore treatments for MODS we have developed multiple models of acute inflammation. These models were constructed through a modular approach where the dynamics of multiple subsystems were analyzed. The subsystems were then merged to form the full model. This approach ensures that known dynamical features of component interactions, such as bistability, excitability, and bifurcation structures, are present in the model dynamics. We will consider three models accounting for various aspects of acute inflammation. The first will focus on the dynamics between pro- and anti-inflammation. The second models the communication between the tissue and blood, which is essential in mounting a successful response to pathogen. The third models acute inflammation in the lung and its effects on gas exchange. Creating these models is the first step in simulating the spread of inflammation between organs.