An efficient parallel stochastic simulation method for analysis of nonviral gene delivery systems

Hiroyuki Kuwahara, Xin Gao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Gene therapy has a great potential to become an effective treatment for a wide variety of diseases. One of the main challenges to make gene therapy practical in clinical settings is the development of efficient and safe mechanisms to deliver foreign DNA molecules into the nucleus of target cells. Several computational and experimental studies have shown that the design process of synthetic gene transfer vectors can be greatly enhanced by computational modeling and simulation. This paper proposes a novel, effective parallelization of the stochastic simulation algorithm (SSA) for pharmacokinetic models that characterize the rate-limiting, multi-step processes of intracellular gene delivery. While efficient parallelizations of the SSA are still an open problem in a general setting, the proposed parallel simulation method is able to substantially accelerate the next reaction selection scheme and the reaction update scheme in the SSA by exploiting and decomposing the structures of stochastic gene delivery models. This, thus, makes computationally intensive analysis such as parameter optimizations and gene dosage control for specific cell types, gene vectors, and transgene expression stability substantially more practical than that could otherwise be with the standard SSA. Here, we translated the nonviral gene delivery model based on mass-action kinetics by Varga et al. [Molecular Therapy, 4(5), 2001] into a more realistic model that captures intracellular fluctuations based on stochastic chemical kinetics, and as a case study we applied our parallel simulation to this stochastic model. Our results show that our simulation method is able to increase the efficiency of statistical analysis by at least 50% in various settings. © 2011 ACM.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology - CMSB '11
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781450308175
StatePublished - 2011


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