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Complex Systems

Complex systems consist of multiple interacting monomers. However, the dynamic behavior of these systems cannot be fully explained by the property of their components. The study of complex systems, based on modeling and simulation has become a grand-challenge in basic and applied sciences and led to the emergence of a rapidly growing new scientific field (see also Science 284: 79-109, 1999). Complex systems science draws from the powerful interaction of experimental and theoretical researchers of many disparate scientific disciplines assuming similar underlying rules for complex dynamic systems in biology, economics, physics, sociology, management, engineering, medicine and others. Examples of complex systems in the biomedical focus are neuronal networks, the immune system and more recently, disease processes such as cancer. A growing body of experimental and clinical evidence suggests that not only single cells or pattern-forming tumor cell groups (Figure 1 and 2) but the entire neoplasm may behave as a spatio-temporally emerging, self-organizing and adaptive complex dynamic biosystem rather than an unorganized multicellular mass.

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Figure 1:   Depicted is an image of an established high grade glioma cell line in culture. Note the networked cluster pattern. Figure 2:   Shown is an image of an established high grade glioma cell line in culture. Note the seemingly synchronized cell behavior within the confluent monolayer at lower (left) and higher magnification.

Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained herein is intended solely for  the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather for  discussion  with the patient's own physician. Information on this site. Copyright99.
CONTACT INFORMATION: All general inquiries about the project as well as all questions regarding assay engineering, underlying tumor modeling concepts and complex biosystems modeling should be sent to Thomas S. Deisboeck, M.D  
Copyright 1999 Brain Tumor Center at MGH
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