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Two-dimentional complex modeling of bone and joint infections using agent-based simulation

Abstract : Bone and joint infections are one of the most challenging bone pathologies that associated with irreversible bone loss and long costly treatment. The high intra and inter patient's variability in terms of clinical presentation makes it impossible to rely on the systematic description or classical statistical analysis for its diagnosis or studying. The development of BJI encompasses a complex interplay between the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the host bone tissue and the infecting bacteria. The objective of this thesis is to provide a novel computational modeling framework that simulates the behavior resulting from the interactions on the cellular and molecular levels to explore the BJI dynamics qualitatively and comprehensively, using an agent-based modeling approach. We relied on a meta-analysis-like method to extract the quantitative and qualitative data from the literature and used it for two aspects. First, elaborating the structure of the model by identifying the agents and the interactions, and second estimating quantitatively the different parameters of the model. The BJI system’s response to different microbial inoculum sizes was simulated with respect to the variation of several critical parameters. The simulation output data was then analyzed using a data-driven methodology and system dynamics approach, through which we summarized the BJI complex system and identified plausible relationships between the agents using differential equations. The BJI model succeeded in imitating the dynamics of bacteria, the innate immune cells, and the bone cells during the first stage of BJI and for different inoculum size in a compatible way. The simulation displayed the damage in bone tissue as a result of the variation in bone remodeling process during BJI. These findings can be considered as a foundation for further analysis and for the proposition of different hypotheses and simulation scenarios that could be investigated through this BJI model as a virtual lab.
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Salma Alsassa. Two-dimentional complex modeling of bone and joint infections using agent-based simulation. Imaging. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019BRES0022⟩. ⟨tel-02918081⟩

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