Multiple verification in computational modeling of bone pathologies

Pietro Liò
(Computer Laboratory. University of Cambridge. United Kingdom)
Emanuela Merelli
(School of Science and Technology. University of Camerino. Italy)
Nicola Paoletti
(School of Science and Technology. University of Camerino. Italy)

We introduce a model checking approach to diagnose the emerging of bone pathologies. The implementation of a new model of bone remodeling in PRISM has led to an interesting characterization of osteoporosis as a defective bone remodeling dynamics with respect to other bone pathologies. Our approach allows to derive three types of model checking-based diagnostic estimators. The first diagnostic measure focuses on the level of bone mineral density, which is currently used in medical practice. In addition, we have introduced a novel diagnostic estimator which uses the full patient clinical record, here simulated using the modeling framework. This estimator detects rapid (months) negative changes in bone mineral density. Independently of the actual bone mineral density, when the decrease occurs rapidly it is important to alarm the patient and monitor him/her more closely to detect insurgence of other bone co-morbidities. A third estimator takes into account the variance of the bone density, which could address the investigation of metabolic syndromes, diabetes and cancer. Our implementation could make use of different logical combinations of these statistical estimators and could incorporate other biomarkers for other systemic co-morbidities (for example diabetes and thalassemia). We are delighted to report that the combination of stochastic modeling with formal methods motivate new diagnostic framework for complex pathologies. In particular our approach takes into consideration important properties of biosystems such as multiscale and self-adaptiveness. The multi-diagnosis could be further expanded, inching towards the complexity of human diseases. Finally, we briefly introduce self-adaptiveness in formal methods which is a key property in the regulative mechanisms of biological systems and well known in other mathematical and engineering areas.

In Ion Petre and Erik de Vink: Proceedings Third International Workshop on Computational Models for Cell Processes (CompMod 2011), Aachen, Germany, September 10, 2011, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 67, pp. 82–96.
Published: 8th September 2011.

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