Multi-Agent Systems for Biomedical Simulation: Modeling Vascularization of Porous Scaffolds
An interesting application of multi-agent systems (MAS) is in modeling systems that can be represented by independent entities interacting together, the so-called agent-based modeling (ABM). In this paper MAS paradigm is used as a promising technique for representing complex biomedical systems. A brief survey of some ABM of biomedical systems is presented, followed by the description of a multi-layered agent-based framework developed in our own labs to model the process of sprouting angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) within polymeric porous scaffolds used for regenerative medicine. The ABM structure developed and challenges in modeling systems with a large number of rapidly increasing interacting agents are discussed. 2D and 3D case studies are presented to investigate the impact of scaffold pore structure on vessel growth. MAS provides a valuable tool for studying highly complex biological and biomedical systems, and for investigating ways of intervening in such systems.
Keywordsagent-based simulation agent-based modeling emergent behavior angiogenesis
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