The role of theoretical modeling in microcirculation research

Timothy W. Secomb, Daniel A. Beard, Jefferson C. Frisbee, Nicolas P. Smith, Axel R. Pries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Theoretical modeling approaches have made important contributions to research in the biological sciences, including the microcirculation, and their value is increasingly recognized. However, misconceptions about the nature and role of theoretical models persist, and such work is often presented in a way that does not maximize its value, especially for scientists who are not themselves using such models. In this review, a categorization of models as phenomenological, qualitative conceptual, quantitative conceptual, or predictive is proposed, and the characteristics of each type are discussed. Recommendations are made for the presentation of models and for the future development of modeling approaches. The concepts discussed are generally applicable to the theoretical modeling of biological systems and are illustrated by using examples of modeling in microcirculation research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008


  • Review
  • Simulation
  • Theoretical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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