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Computer Model Could Help Test Sickle Cell Drugs

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n sickle cell disease, long polymer fibers that form inside red blood cells can push the cells out of shape.

A computer model developed by Brown University researchers simulates the processes of sickle cell disease and could help in testing new drugs to treat it.

Credit: Brown University.

Brown University researchers have created a computer model to simulate the process by which sickle cell disease distorts red blood cells, which could be used in preclinical drug screening.

The researchers created biophysical models of each stage of the sickling (deformation) of cells, including a simulated red blood cell function called OpenRBC, and a supercomputer model of sickle cell fiber formation.

The end-product was a kinetic model of the sickling process, with supercomputer-derived data fed into a streamlined iteration enveloping key sickling dynamics, which can run on a laptop.

The team demonstrated that the model could replicate the results of earlier experiments, both in the laboratory and in humans. The model allows users to enter the mode of action by which a drug is presumed to function, to view its potential effects on the cells.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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