Biomedical Application Projects


    Presynaptic calcium dynamics and neurotransmitter release.
    This project includes related experimental work from the laboratory of Steve Meriney in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Using DReAMM and computer-aided-design software we have developed a realistic model of an active zone, the nerve cell architecture that underlies release of neurotransmitter molecules during synaptic transmission.  Using this active zone model, we run MCell simulations of nerve excitation, calcium influx and binding, and neurotransmitter release.  We constrain and validate the model and simulations using previously existing and newly acquired experimental data (e.g., calcium imaging of stimulated nerve-muscle preparations), and use the simulations to make quantitative predictions for spatial and functional relationships between calcium channels, calcium binding sites, synaptic vesicles, and other components of active zone architecture.  Future extensions will include multiple stimuli and other synapses, i.e., paradigms that encompass functional changes (plasticity) in synaptic physiology.  Such coupled, quantitative experimental and computational studies are essential to future interventions for a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as a deeper understanding of fundamental human behaviors like learning and memory.

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  • News and Events

    July 8, 2021: MCell4 & Cellblender Release

    A brand new release of MCell with CellBlender with many new improvements such as Python API, native BioNetGen lanuage support and integration with Blender 2.93 is available for download here.

    The 2021 Cell Modeling Workshop will be held as a virtual workshop on July 12th-16th, 2021.

    July 12-16, 2021: Cell Modeling Workshop

    The 2021 Cell Modeling Workshop will be held as a virtual workshop on July 12th-16th, 2021.

    June 22-26, 2020: Cell Modeling Workshop

    The 2020 Cell Modeling Workshop will be held as a virtual workshop on June 22nd-26th, 2020.