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A Bayesian sequential learning framework to parameterise continuum models of melanoma invasion into human skin. (English) Zbl 1415.92032
Summary: We present a novel framework to parameterise a mathematical model of cell invasion that describes how a population of melanoma cells invades into human skin tissue. Using simple experimental data extracted from complex experimental images, we estimate three model parameters: (i) the melanoma cell proliferation rate, \(\lambda \); (ii) the melanoma cell diffusivity, \(D\); and (iii) \(\delta \), a constant that determines the rate that melanoma cells degrade the skin tissue. The Bayesian sequential learning framework involves a sequence of increasingly sophisticated experimental data from: (i) a spatially uniform cell proliferation assay; (ii) a two-dimensional circular barrier assay; and (iii) a three-dimensional invasion assay. The Bayesian sequential learning approach leads to well-defined parameter estimates. In contrast, taking a naive approach that attempts to estimate all parameters from a single set of images from the same experiment fails to produce meaningful results. Overall, our approach to inference is simple-to-implement, computationally efficient, and well suited for many cell biology phenomena that can be described by low-dimensional continuum models using ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations. We anticipate that this Bayesian sequential learning framework will be relevant in other biological contexts where it is challenging to extract detailed, quantitative biological measurements from experimental images and so we must rely on using relatively simple measurements from complex images.

MSC:
92C15 Developmental biology, pattern formation
92C37 Cell biology
62F15 Bayesian inference
62P10 Applications of statistics to biology and medical sciences; meta analysis
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