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Towards a quantitative single-cell based model approach to growing multicellular spheroids
Dirk Drasdo and Stefan Höhme
The understanding of the principles and the dominant mechanisms underlying tumor growth is an essential pre-condition in order to optimize treatment strategies. Mathematical and computer-based models can contribute to this since they allow to test competing hypotheses in well-defined caricatures of biological experiments free from unknown or uncontrolled influences.
In this paper we focus on the growth of multicellular tumor spheroids in-vitro. This system has been extensively studied experimentally. We present a single-cell based approach that in principle accounts for viscoelastic and growth properties of tumor spheroids and study the model behavior for early tumor stages where limitations of the nutrient and oxygen supply as well as apoptosis can be neglected.