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WIREs Syst Biol Med
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Computational modeling of epithelial tissues

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Abstract There is an extensive literature on the computational modeling of epithelial tissues at all levels from subcellular to whole tissue. This review concentrates on behavior at the individual cell to whole tissue level, and particularly on organizational aspects, and provides an indication of where information from other areas, such as the modeling of angiogenesis, is relevant. The skin, and the lining of all of the body cavities (lung, gut, cervix, bladder etc) are epithelial tissues, which in a topological sense are the boundary between inside and outside the body. They are thin sheets of cells (usually of the order of 0.5 mm thick) without extracellular matrix, have a relatively simple structure, and contain few types of cells. They have important barrier, secretory and transport functions, which are essential for the maintenance of life, so homeostasis and wound healing are important aspects of the behavior of epithelial tissues. Carcinomas originate in epithelial tissues. There are essentially two approaches to modeling tissues—to start at the level of the tissue (i.e., a length scale of the order of 1 mm) and develop generalized equations for behavior (a continuum approach); or to start at the level of the cell (i.e., a length scale of the order of 10 µm) and develop tissue behavior as an emergent property of cellular behavior (an individual‐based approach). As will be seen, these are not mutually exclusive approaches, and they come in a variety of flavors. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article is categorized under: Analytical and Computational Methods > Computational Methods Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Organ, Tissue, and Physiological Models Analytical and Computational Methods > Topological Methods Translational, Genomic, and Systems Medicine > Translational Medicine

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Translational, Genomic, and Systems Medicine > Translational Medicine
Analytical and Computational Methods > Topological Methods
Analytical and Computational Methods > Computational Methods
Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Organ, Tissue, and Physiological Models

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