The field of computer modeling and simulation of biological systems is rapidly advancing, backed by significant progress in the fields of experimentation techniques, computer hardware, and programming software. The result of a simulation may be delivered in several ways, from numerical results, through graphs of the simulated run, to a visualization of the simulation. The vision of an in-silico experiment mimicking an in-vitro or in-vivo experiment as it is viewed under a microscope is appealing but technically demanding and computationally intensive. Here, we report "Cell Studio," a generic, hybrid platform to simulate an immune microenvironment with biological and biophysical rules. We use game engines - generic programs for game creation which offer ready-made assets and tools - to create a visualized, interactive 3D simulation. We also utilize a scalable architecture that delegates the computational load to a server. The user may view the simulation, move the "camera" around, stop, fast-forward, and rewind it and inject soluble molecules into the extracellular medium at any point in time. During simulation, graphs are created in real time for a broad view of system-wide processes. The model is parametrized using a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI). We show a simple validation simulation and compare its results with those from a "classical" simulation, validated against a "wet" experiment. We believe that interactive, real-time 3D visualization may aid in generating insights from the model and encourage intuition about the immunological scenario.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering