Igor Pivkin
Scientific Computing Group
Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano
Group Webpage

What do we do?

Our research interests in the Scientific Computing Group lie in the area of multiscale/multiphysics modelling and parallel large-scale simulations of biological systems. We focus on the development of new computational models and corresponding numerical methods suitable for the next generation of super computers. We are working on stochastic multiscale modelling of motion, the interaction, deformation and aggregation of cells under physiological flow conditions, biofilm growth, and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, as well as the modelling of transport processes in healthy and tumour-induced microcirculation.

Highlights 2017

Cell mechanics have proven to be important in many biological processes. Cells have complex mechanical properties and can undergo significant deformations, requiring detailed models to give an insight into the cell rheology. We performed a combined experimental and computational study of human mammary epithelial cells, developing a new computational model that is suitable for modelling of cells with wide range of viscoelastic properties and, at the same time, computationally efficient for use in large and complex flow domains. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first mesoscale particle-based computational model for simulations of flow-induced deformations of cells that explicitly takes into account cell membrane, nucleus, and cytoskeleton. We envision that the model developed will bring us closer to understanding the role of cell mechanobiology in the broad spectrum of phenomena that occur as a cell evolves from a healthy to a diseased state.

Main publications 2017

  • K. Lykov et al. Probing eukaryotic cell mechanics via mesoscopic simulations. PLOS Comp Biol. 2017; 13(9): e1005726
  • S. Christel et al. Multi-omics reveal the lifestyle of the acidophilic, mineral-oxidizing model species Leptospirillum ferriphilum. Applied Environ Microbiol. 2017; AEM.02091-17

Our main research topic: