Research Topic

Biological Control Systems and Disease Modelling

About this Research Topic

The mammalian organism maintains stable, efficient, and “near-optimal” performance and homeostasis in the face of external and internal perturbations via distinct biological systems ranging from the large-scale physiological (nervous, endocrine, immune, circulatory, respiratory, etc.), to the cellular (growth and proliferation regulation, DNA damage repair, etc.), and the sub-cellular (gene expression, protein synthesis, metabolite regulation, etc) level. “Biological Control Systems,” a sub-topic of Control Theory, arises from a control engineering perspective of the function, organization, and coordination of these multi-scale biological systems and the control mechanisms that enable them to carry out their functions effectively. A direct consequence of this engineering perspective is that many diseases are seen as arising when one or more of these biological control systems malfunctions or fails completely. For example, hypertension results from a malfunctioning blood pressure control system, hypocalcemia from a malfunctioning calcium homeostasis system, and Type 1 diabetes from a failure of the blood glucose control system.

This Research Topic seeks to provide engineering perspectives on diseases, and the design of effective treatments specifically using mathematical modelling and principles of control engineering. Our premise is that designing effective treatments requires identification of the specific malfunctioning component of the biological control system responsible for the disease manifestation, so that appropriate corrective action may be properly targeted to the malfunction or failure in question. There is increasing evidence of the advantages accruing from the use of mathematical models in this endeavor. The papers will demonstrate the usefulness of modelling (and control engineering) for the diagnosis of pathologies, and for the design, and implementation of targeted treatments.

The proposed Topic is timely, with attention currently focused on precision or, more appropriately, personalized medicine. The approaches to be discussed and illustrated by these papers should contribute significantly to how the grand vision of personalizing disease diagnosis and treatment will be realized in the future. Specific subjects to be addressed by contributors include, but are not limited to:
- Modelling and Analysis of:
o Liver Diseases
o COPD and other respiratory system malfunction
o Hypertension
o Cancer
o Infectious Diseases (and the Immune System)
o Diabetes
o Hemophilia and Thrombophilia
- Theoretical Analysis of Biological Systems Models
- Techniques for the Development and Validation of Systems Biomedicine Models
- Model-Based Optimization of Therapies
- Experimental Investigations of Model-Based Treatment Protocols


Keywords: Biological Control Systems, Systems Modelling, Model-Based Therapeutics, Control Theory, Control Engineering


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The mammalian organism maintains stable, efficient, and “near-optimal” performance and homeostasis in the face of external and internal perturbations via distinct biological systems ranging from the large-scale physiological (nervous, endocrine, immune, circulatory, respiratory, etc.), to the cellular (growth and proliferation regulation, DNA damage repair, etc.), and the sub-cellular (gene expression, protein synthesis, metabolite regulation, etc) level. “Biological Control Systems,” a sub-topic of Control Theory, arises from a control engineering perspective of the function, organization, and coordination of these multi-scale biological systems and the control mechanisms that enable them to carry out their functions effectively. A direct consequence of this engineering perspective is that many diseases are seen as arising when one or more of these biological control systems malfunctions or fails completely. For example, hypertension results from a malfunctioning blood pressure control system, hypocalcemia from a malfunctioning calcium homeostasis system, and Type 1 diabetes from a failure of the blood glucose control system.

This Research Topic seeks to provide engineering perspectives on diseases, and the design of effective treatments specifically using mathematical modelling and principles of control engineering. Our premise is that designing effective treatments requires identification of the specific malfunctioning component of the biological control system responsible for the disease manifestation, so that appropriate corrective action may be properly targeted to the malfunction or failure in question. There is increasing evidence of the advantages accruing from the use of mathematical models in this endeavor. The papers will demonstrate the usefulness of modelling (and control engineering) for the diagnosis of pathologies, and for the design, and implementation of targeted treatments.

The proposed Topic is timely, with attention currently focused on precision or, more appropriately, personalized medicine. The approaches to be discussed and illustrated by these papers should contribute significantly to how the grand vision of personalizing disease diagnosis and treatment will be realized in the future. Specific subjects to be addressed by contributors include, but are not limited to:
- Modelling and Analysis of:
o Liver Diseases
o COPD and other respiratory system malfunction
o Hypertension
o Cancer
o Infectious Diseases (and the Immune System)
o Diabetes
o Hemophilia and Thrombophilia
- Theoretical Analysis of Biological Systems Models
- Techniques for the Development and Validation of Systems Biomedicine Models
- Model-Based Optimization of Therapies
- Experimental Investigations of Model-Based Treatment Protocols


Keywords: Biological Control Systems, Systems Modelling, Model-Based Therapeutics, Control Theory, Control Engineering


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2019 Abstract
25 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2019 Abstract
25 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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