Models of Blood Formation

The goal of the project group "Models of Blood Formation" is to achieve a comprehensive quantitative understanding of the proliferation and differentiation dynamics of hematopoietic cell populations by means of biomathematical models. On the basis of clinical and experimental data, disorders of the blood formation are examined and predicted.

The cellular components of peripheral blood fulfill vital functions such as oxygen transport (erythrocytes), hemostasis (thrombocytes) and defense against infections (leukocytes). Due to their limited life span, these cells have to be regenerated throughout life at a high rate. The process of blood formation in human beings normally takes place in the bone marrow and originates from a few hematopoietic stem cells, which proliferate and differentiate over several intermediate stages into mature peripheral blood cells. It is generally assumed that this process is controlled and regulated by a network of hematopoietic growth factors.

Despite extensive experimental and clinical research, the quantitative-dynamic interaction between single mechanisms of control and regulation, which together determine the kinetics of hematopoietic cell populations in vivo, is poorly understood. In particular, comprehensive quantitative models are lacking which can explain and also predict the dynamic behaviour of hematopoiesis under acute and chronic disturbances. Of particular medical interest are those conditions which lead to a reduction of blood cells, e.g. bleeding, irradiation or cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Our research group aims to develop a comprehensive and consistent description of the fundamental cell kinetic properties of the hematopoietic system in human beings and animals (model based theory making). This is done on the basis of own experimental or clinical data and data taken from literature. Using model predictions, targeted planning of experiments for model validation is possible. Furthermore, these models can be applied to simulate the hematotoxic effects of cytostatic chemotherapy and thus to identify appropriate new therapy regimens prior to clinical testing (model based therapy optimization and trial planning).

Leader of the project group

Phone: +49 341 97 16124
Fax: +49 341 97 16109
Postal address: Dr. Christoph Engel
Universität Leipzig
Institut für Medizinische Informatik, Statistik und Epidemiologie
Härtelstraße 16-18


  • Simulation models of hematopoietic dynamics after conventional and high dose chemotherapy and cytokine administration in human beings
  • Model analysis of hematopoietic processes of regulation and competition in the mouse