The Kate Edger Department of Mathematics


Multiscale modelling of the lung

Interested in research that could potential help asthma sufferers? The Multiscale Modelling of the Lung is an international research group doing just that.

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In a large project funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), researchers in the Department of Mathematics collaborate with colleagues in Auckland, the United States of America and Canada. The aim is to construct and study a multiscale model of the lung, in which microscopic cellular events are incorporated into a model of the entire organ. The principal goal of the project is to study airway hyper-responsiveness, one of the main causes of asthma.

Airway hyper-responsiveness is an emergent phenomenon reflecting the ensemble behavior of a myriad of sub-scale events that exhibit both spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Our knowledge and understanding of airway hyper-responsiveness is modeled at four different levels, corresponding to the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole organ scales. Each level is closely linked to those above and below to result in a single multiscale model in which each sub-model for the different scales is tied closely to the relevant experimental data. Experimentation is used to validate and refine the model.

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Researchers at The University of Auckland