An update to experimental models for validating computer technology

13-Apr-2019 09:23 by 10 Comments

An update to experimental models for validating computer technology

In biomedical engineering, research projects and careers are often shaped depending on the modeling approach used to investigate the human body: (i) models that use animals, called in vivo approaches; (ii) models in which tissues, cells, and molecules are tested outside their normal environment, called in vitro approaches; and (iii) theoretical models and computer simulations of biological processes, the so-called in silico approaches.

This generation will ultimately translate synergic efforts into innovative research projects.

Examples of Turing patterns in morphogenesis are emerging and being accepted in biology [see, for instance, Raspopovic et al. Bioengineering and biophysical approaches to significant discoveries in human development and disease face interdisciplinary and complex scenarios and must seek synergic assistance. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

For instance, advanced computational procedures are hoped to promote what could be called “in silico experiments.” These computational simulations may serve multiple purposes, such as making an initial selection of parameters or conducting further research.

This debate means often a choice, early in the bioengineer’s career.

A bioengineer may prefer to address scientific questions based on experimental tests, or on computational and theoretical analyses.

Moreover, I believe that bioengineering desperately needs synergy and cooperation to pave the way for significant discoveries.

We need efforts to train a new generation of biomedical engineers: individuals who take advantage of these synergies, who design projects accordingly, and who make these approaches work cooperatively.This generation is capable of dissolving boundaries and merging facets of both traditions. Such researchers will test a computational model for its reliability by comparison with experimental models, and by coordinating and refining in vivo or in vitro tests based on in silico assessments. Advantages from feedback between experimentalists and theoreticians can be undoubtedly rich, and even richer if we relax the strict borders of each group.For instance, validation is an important prerogative for a theoretical model.Indeed, the way bioengineers tackle a question is shaped by the characteristic techniques – experimental, theoretical, and computational – they are trained for.