The genome does not uniquely determine cell development: both the environment and cell-cell interactions also play an important
role, inasmuch as they regulate gene expression. It is difficult and often unreliable to collect data in vivo. In vitro procedures are
much easier and yield data also on processes otherwise inaccessible in vivo; nonetheless, in vitro cultures do not reproduce the cell
environment faithfully, and data collection requires a lot of effort which is not always rewarded by satisfactory and complete results.
We are now developing a numerical engine to simulate the growth of cell clusters, and especially multicell tumor spheroids, which
includes the environment. In this project we plan to continue this work and obtain a working prototype program that includes all the
The simulator shall be a true in silico cell laboratory, where it will be possible to carry out virtual experiments in a controlled way.