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Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2003 Jul;71(3):189-201.

Multidisciplinary modelling of biomedical systems.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, LADSEB-CNR, Corso Stati Uniti 4, 35127 Padua, Italy.


This paper describes general principles and example results of a new software tool being developed for physiologically-based modelling of biomedical systems within a multidisciplinary framework. The aim is to overcome some limitations of currently available software designed either for general purpose or for highly specialised modelling applications. In fact, general purpose tools usually impose explicit coding of mathematical model equations or non-intuitive system representations, whereas specialised software use domain-specific notations that allow efficient and convenient model building only for special classes of systems. The aim of the present study is to pursue intuitive representation of various, possibly interacting, types of biological systems described as interconnected physical components, such as mass and energy storage elements, active and passive transport or biochemical transformations. The presented software generates automatically the mathematical model equations that can be coded in different formats. This allows interoperability with other existing software, e.g. for numerical simulation, symbolic analysis or text processing. A multi-domain structural language has been defined for an intuitive, hierarchical and self-explanatory specification of physiological models. The proposed strategies may become useful for dissemination and integration of multidisciplinary modelling knowledge.

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