About MCell and CellBlender


MCell and CellBlender development is supported by the NIGMS-funded (P41GM103712) Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems (MMBioS) Center established by the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute and Carnegie Mellon University.

The tutorials are the best way to learn about using MCell and CellBlender for new users. If you have a question about using MCell and CellBlender, feel free to ask it on our forums.

How to Cite MCell

For all publications that make use of MCell, we ask that you the include the following acknowlegement:

MCell development is supported by the NIGMS-funded (P41GM103712) National Center for Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems (MMBioS)

Also, please cite these three papers:

  • Stiles, JR, et al. (1996). Miniature endplate current rise times <100 μs from improved dual recordings can be modeled with passive acetylcholine diffusion from a synaptic vesicle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:5747-5752.
  • Stiles, JR, and Bartol, TM. (2001). Monte Carlo methods for simulating realistic synaptic microphysiology using MCell. In: Computational Neuroscience: Realistic Modeling for Experimentalists, ed. De Schutter, E. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 87-127.
  • Kerr R, Bartol TM, Kaminsky B, Dittrich M, Chang JCJ, Baden S, Sejnowski TJ, Stiles JR. (2009). Fast Monte Carlo Simulation Methods for Biological Reaction-Diffusion Systems in Solution and on Surfaces. SIAM J. Sci. Comput., 30(6):3126-3149.

About MCell


Cells are tightly packed with structures and molecules that carry out the day-to-day operations of living. Understanding how cellular design dictates function is essential to understanding life and disease, in the brain, heart, or elsewhere. MCell (Monte Carlo cell) is a program that uses spatially realistic 3-D cellular models and specialized Monte Carlo algorithms to simulate the movements and reactions of molecules within and between cells—cellular microphysiology.

About CellBlender


Model design, editing, and visualization are integral to microphysiological simulations. CellBlender is an addon for Blender 2.6-2.7x that allows users to create computational cell biology models for use in MCell. In addition, it is used to visualize MCell simulation results, including the locations and states of participating meshes and molecules.

  • News and Events

    October 24, 2014: Postdoctoral Research Position Available

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow position available in the Biomedical Applications Group at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).

    April 27, 2014: CellBlender 1.0 Release Candidate 3

    CellBlender 1.0 RC3 is available from our Downloads page.

    February 19, 2014: New MCell Workshop

    Registration open for the new MCell workshop on April 28-30, 2014.

    February 11, 2014: MCell 3.2.1 Now Available

    New MCell versions for OS X, Windows, and Linux (including 64-bit) are available from our Downloads page.

    November 18, 2013: Forums

    The MCell and CellBlender forums are now live.

    October 11, 2013: Downloads now available through MMBioS

    MCell and Cellblender are now available on mmbios.org. See the Downloads page.

    September 30, 2013: MCell 3.2 Now Available

    New MCell versions for OS X, Windows, and Linux (including 64-bit) are available from our Downloads page.

    September 30, 2013: MCell Source Code Available on Github

    The source code for MCell is available from our github repository.

    September 9, 2013: Added Outreach page and New Documentation

    Documentation from the 2013 MCell workshop was added. A new outreach tab has been added, highlighting recent workshops and presentations.