Derivation and Use of Mathematical Models in Systems Biology

R.W. Smith, C. Fleck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Systems Biology has brought together researchers from biology, mathe-matics, physics and computer science to illuminate our understanding of biologicalmechanisms. In this chapter, we provide an overview of numerical techniques andconsiderations required to construct useful models describing natural phenomena.Initially, we show how the dynamics of single molecules up to the developmentof tissues can be described mathematically over both temporal and spatial scales.Importantly, we discuss the issue of model selection whereby multiple models candescribe the same phenomena. We then illustrate how reaction rates can be estimatedfrom datasets and experimental observations as well as highlighting the “parameteridentifiability problem”. Finally, we suggest ways in which mathematical modelscan be used to generate new hypothesesand aid researchers in uncoveringthe designprinciples regulating specific biological mechanisms. We hope that this chapter willprovide an introduction to the ideas of mathematical modelling for those that wishto incorporate it into their research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPollen Tip Growth
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biophysical Aspects to Systems Biology
EditorsG. Obermeyer, J. Feijó
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISBN (Electronic)9783319566450
ISBN (Print)9783319566443
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Hypothesis generation
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Model selection
  • Parameter estimation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Derivation and Use of Mathematical Models in Systems Biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this