Coupling biomechanics to a cellular level model: An approach to patient-specific image driven multi-scale and multi-physics tumor simulation

May, Christian; Kolokotroni, Eleni; Stamatakos, Georgios S; Büchler, Philippe (2011). Coupling biomechanics to a cellular level model: An approach to patient-specific image driven multi-scale and multi-physics tumor simulation. Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 107(1), pp. 193-199. Kidlington, UK: Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2011.06.007

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Modeling of tumor growth has been performed according to various approaches addressing different biocomplexity levels and spatiotemporal scales. Mathematical treatments range from partial differential equation based diffusion models to rule-based cellular level simulators, aiming at both improving our quantitative understanding of the underlying biological processes and, in the mid- and long term, constructing reliable multi-scale predictive platforms to support patient-individualized treatment planning and optimization. The aim of this paper is to establish a multi-scale and multi-physics approach to tumor modeling taking into account both the cellular and the macroscopic mechanical level. Therefore, an already developed biomodel of clinical tumor growth and response to treatment is self-consistently coupled with a biomechanical model. Results are presented for the free growth case of the imageable component of an initially point-like glioblastoma multiforme tumor. The composite model leads to significant tumor shape corrections that are achieved through the utilization of environmental pressure information and the application of biomechanical principles. Using the ratio of smallest to largest moment of inertia of the tumor material to quantify the effect of our coupled approach, we have found a tumor shape correction of 20\% by coupling biomechanics to the cellular simulator as compared to a cellular simulation without preferred growth directions. We conclude that the integration of the two models provides additional morphological insight into realistic tumor growth behavior. Therefore, it might be used for the development of an advanced oncosimulator focusing on tumor types for which morphology plays an important role in surgical and/or radio-therapeutic treatment planning.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

May, Christian and Büchler, Philippe




Elsevier Science




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:16

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:22

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 209231)

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