Using approximate Bayesian computation to quantify cell-cell adhesion parameters in a cell migratory process

Robert Ross, Ruth E. Baker, Andrew Parker, Matthew Ford, Richard Mort, Christian Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)
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In this work we implement approximate Bayesian computational methods to improve the design of a wound-healing assay used to quantify cell-cell interactions. This is important as cell-cell interactions, such as adhesion and repulsion, have been shown to play a role in cell migration. Initially, we demonstrate with a model of an unrealistic experiment that we are able to identify model parameters that describe agent motility and adhesion, given we choose appropriate summary statistics for our model data. Following this, we replace our model of an unrealistic experiment with a model representative of a practically realisable experiment. We demonstrate that, given the current (and commonly used) experimental set-up, our model parameters cannot be accurately identified using approximate Bayesian computation methods. We compare new experimental designs through simulation, and show more accurate identification of model parameters is possible by expanding the size of the domain upon which the experiment is performed, as opposed to increasing the number of experimental replicates. The results presented in this work therefore describe time and cost-saving alterations for a commonly performed experiment for identifying cell motility parameters. Moreover, this work will be of interest to those concerned with performing experiments that allow for the accurate identification of parameters governing cell migratory processes, especially cell migratory processes in which cell-cell adhesion or repulsion are known to play a significant role.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Journalnpj Systems Biology and Applications
Early online date10 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Approximate bayesian computation
  • cell migration
  • scratch assay


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