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Queuing Theory-Based Modeling of Intracellular Signaling in Initiating Immune Responses

Marissa L Miller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In silico models have become a powerful tool in understanding simple and complex biological systems. With its applications in inter- and intra-cellular signaling, queuing theory has proven its adaptability to various fields of research while maintaining accuracy in its predictions. From a cellular biology perspective, queuing theory can represent how concentrations of proteins change over time as they are used and produced in a series of biochemical reactions. Some recent examples of such models include gene delivery, glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and the Pentose-Phosphate pathway models. The reactions and mechanisms of these pathways are well known and understood. By using queuing theory in pathways that are not well understood, researchers can achieve biologically accurate results and gain insights into the mechanisms that have yet to be explained. Traditional research and development of novel treatments and vaccines requires lots of time and resources. Compared to other common mathematical modeling approaches, queuing theory may be easier to implement, more cost effective, and more time-efficient. A model of the intracellular signaling cascade from first stimulation to production of proteins provides researchers with the optimal solution for the timing of the initiation of the immune response. Understanding the components necessary for immune system activation and the timing of the response helps researchers identify possible target proteins or reactions that can be amplified or inhibited to achieve the desired outcome. In this thesis, current challenges in biology that can be answered with queuing theory-based models are introduced, comparative computer modeling techniques are discussed, and the design and simulation of three queuing theory-based models of intracellular signaling will be described. The results of intracellular signaling models and how they correlate to the respective challenge will also be discussed. Given the growing list of pathogens and the numerous cell receptors that can be activated by them, further improvements on existing models and additional models of immune system signaling will be needed so researchers can prepare for diseases and pandemics of the future.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering

Recommended Citation

Miller, Marissa L, "Queuing Theory-Based Modeling of Intracellular Signaling in Initiating Immune Responses" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI29167393.