The Biological Modelling group of the Department of Physics of the University of Coimbra has been focused on angiogenesis, and in particular on relating the force exerted by endothelial cells with their movement and proliferation. We are currently developing new methods to predict single cell morphological alterations as a function of the forces the cell actively exerts, of cell-cell adhesion, and of the extracellular matrix rigidity and composition. We investigate theoretically the strategies used by cells to move in 2D and in 3D substrates of different rigidities. We are applying our models to cell organisation in tissues (and tissue viability), to cell migration through basement membranes (in the case of tumor metastases), and in the formation of vascular structures in different healthy and pathological tissues. We have collaborations with experimental groups to validate/challenge our conclusions.
Mathematical modeling of biological phenomena (we use phase-field methods, Cellular Potts, PDEs, ODEs, stochastic modeling, cellular automatons, agent based models)
We seek to discuss phenomena related to cell migration, systems that we can model and that can be quantified. We want for our students to have experience with work in the laboratory in the context of the systems we are modeling so that they can have a truly interdisciplinary formation.
The Force at the Tip - Modeling Tension and Proliferation in Sprouting Angiogenesis, P Santos-Oliveira, A Correia, TM Rodrigues, T Ribeiro-Rodrigues, P Matafome, JC Rodríguez-Manzaneque, R Seiça, H Girão, RDM Travasso, PLoS Comput Biol, 11, e1004436 (2015).
Hypoxia in vascular networks: a complex system approach to unraveling the Diabetes paradox, Y Gandica, T Schwarz, O Oliveira, RDM Travasso, PLoS ONE, 9, e113165 (2014).
Flow and anastomosis in vascular networks, J Flores, AM Romero, RDM Travasso, E Corvera Poiré, J. Theor. Biol., 317, 257 (2013).
Tumor angiogenesis and vascular patterning: a mathematical model, RDM Travasso, E Corvera Poiré, M Castro, JC Rodríguez-Manzaneque, A Hernández-Machado, PLoS ONE, 6, e19989 (2011).
The phase-field model in tumor growth, RDM Travasso, M Castro, JCRE Oliveira, Philos. Mag., 91, 183 (2011).
9-11 September 2019, Trnava, Slovakia