Computational models (in silico) are a powerful tool to study complex biological systems. The dynamics of these systems means that their response to a stimulus or situation is often the interaction of many factors, sometimes in varying spatial and time scales. In silico methods permit the study of a system from many perspectives to better understand its function, they can even be used to create predictive models in many cases. Additionally, the calculation capacity of current computers and super-computers allows for increasingly complex computational models capable of working with huge amounts of data and analysing interactions of different factors at different scales.
The calculation capacity of current computers and super-computers allows for increasingly complex computational models capable of working with huge amounts of data and analysing interactions of different factors at different scales.
In the context of the 3Rs, computational models are essential for:
- Utilizing the maximum information obtained from experimental work through the improvement of its interpretation and greater ease of obtaining quantitative conclusions
- Determining the dynamic that takes place between two consecutive experimental measurements; as in general, data obtained from an animal by techniques such as bioimaging must necessarily arrive at different time points
- Producing predictive tools in the long term, after a process of model development and rigorous validation
Thanks to support of the programme financed by the "la Caixa" the CMCiB has been able to integrate modellers, who require specialized scientific and technical training, into the multidisciplinary biomedical research teams. This means they can work with the more traditional biomedical researchers ( biologists, doctors, veterinarians and clinical staff etc.) at the very beginning and from the design of the experiments, not just through the data analysis phases. Only this way can truly useful computational models be developed, from the combined expertise of a multidisciplinary team.
The CMCiB has team of team of consultants who can help experimental groups reach their goals of developing computational models to further their research objectives within the 3R policy.