Modeling Biology in Modelica: The Human Baroreflex

Christopher Schölzel
KITE, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, Giessen, Germany

Alexander Goesmann
Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany

Gernot Ernst
Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, Kongsberg, Norway

Andreas Dominik
KITE, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, Giessen, Germany

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp15118367

Ingår i: Proceedings of the 11th International Modelica Conference, Versailles, France, September 21-23, 2015

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 118:39, s. 367-376

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Publicerad: 2015-09-18

ISBN: 978-91-7685-955-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Systems biology is a field that builds complex multi-scale models of systems that are evolved rather than engineered. No unifying theory exists for biology as it does for engineering domains. Thus, models appear in very diverse forms. Components can be genes, cells, organs or even whole ecosystems. These components can intuitively be represented as classes in an object-oriented language, making systems biology a perfect application for Modelica. However, we still only see very few models from this domain. In an attempt to change this, we show that Modelica can exactly reproduce the simulation results of a reference implementation of an established biological model of the human baroreflex. Our implementation highlights the strengths of Modelica like the event finding mechanism, which makes the model more precise. We also show that biological systems pose interesting challenges like signals with non-uniform delays and the interaction of complex rhythms.


systems biology; baroreflex; cardiovascular system; heart rate variability


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