PyOIF: Computational tool for modelling of multi-cell flows in complex geometries

I Jancigova and K Kovalcikova and R Weeber and I Cimrak, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, 16, e1008249 (2020).

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008249; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008249.r001; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008249.r002; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008249.r003; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008249.r004

A user ready, well documented software package PyOIF contains an implementation of a robust validated computational model for cell flow modelling. The software is capable of simulating processes involving biological cells immersed in a fluid. The examples of such processes are flows in microfluidic channels with numerous applications such as cell sorting, rare cell isolation or flow fractionation. Besides the typical usage of such computational model in the design process of microfluidic devices, PyOIF has been used in the computer-aided discovery involving mechanical properties of cell membranes. With this software, single cell, many cell, as well as dense cell suspensions can be simulated. Many cell simulations include cell-cell interactions and analyse their effect on the cells. PyOIF can be used to test the influence of mechanical properties of the membrane in flows and in membrane-membrane interactions. Dense suspensions may be used to study the effect of cell volume fraction on macroscopic phenomena such as cell-free layer, apparent suspension viscosity or cell degradation. The PyOIF module is based on the official ESPResSo distribution with few modifications and is available under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence. PyOIF is based on Python objects representing the cells and on the C++ computational core for fluid and interaction dynamics. The source code is freely available at GitHub repository, runs natively under Linux and MacOS and can be used in Windows Subsystem for Linux. The communication among PyOIF users and developers is maintained using active mailing lists. This work provides a basic background to the underlying computational models and to the implementation of interactions within this framework. We provide the prospective PyOIF users with a practical example of simulation script with reference to our publicly available User Guide.

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