2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

A Glazier-Granier-Hogeweg (GGH) Model For Caenorhabditis elegans Embryonic Development in the Four-Cell Stage
Elise M. Walck* and Clayton Davis
Dr. Timothy Walston and Dr. Scott Thatcher, Faculty Mentors

Many natural systems transform to minimize their overall energy. The GGH (Glazier-Granier-Hogeweg) model uses a Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm to describe the evolution of systems based on energy minimization. By using a fixed lattice environment governed by the Hamiltonian, an overall energy equation, GGH modeling can simplify the description of cell-based phenomena. In the past, GGH modeling has been employed on a theoretical basis. Instead, this study uses experimental data from Caenorhabditis elegans to explore embryogenesis. The four-cell embryo offers an environment where components of the Hamiltonian can be identified. Our Hamiltonian includes cell-cell and cell-shell contact, cell axis rotation, and constraints of surface area and volume. A 3D simulation of C. elegans embryogenesis was created using a GGH model built in MATLAB. The results of this simulation are being compared to results from a simulation built using CompuCell3D, an open-source GGH modeling environment.

Keywords: embryology, bioinformatics, cellular automaton, Caenorhabditis elegans, biology, GGH Modeling

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-4
Location: OP 2113
Time: 9:00

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