data structures and software dependability

computer science department

brandenburg university of technology cottbus - senftenberg

MoPS Modelling Pain Switches

Funding Number: 0315449H


latest update: February 24, 2014, at 09:17 PM

Project description

  • This project applies established mathematical models of signalling switches involved in pain sensitisation, optimises and expands them by reflection on molecular, cellular as well as animal experiments, to finally apply their predictive power to humans enabling a "mechanism-based" pain therapy.
  • This project involves 9 teams, one of them at the BTU Cottbus, chaired by Prof. Heiner. In this team, the objective is to apply qualitative, stochastic, and continuous Petri nets to modeling and analysis of pain switches.
  • duration: March 2009 - February 2012


In the BTU team, Petri nets are applied to modeling and analysis of pain switches, which allow the application of powerful analysis techniques ranging from graph theory, linear algebra via model checking to simulation methods. The Petri net formalism is extremely powerful for modelling the nociception network because it can represent different mechanisms and data types, like the activity of extracellular mediators, signal transducers, intracellular second messengers including their spatial distribution in the cell or tissue, effectors such as ion channels, and membrane potential changes to even subjectively graded parameters like pain in a time-resolved manner.

PN Application in MoPS, teaser: pain switch, two first basic models [Hucho 2008]

Project Partners

Clinician groups

Experimental groups

Modelling groups

Related material


  • [Liu12]
    Fei Liu:
    Colored Petri Nets for Systems Biology;
    PhD thesis, BTU Cottbus, Dep. of CS, January 2012. [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
  • [LH11]
    F Liu and M Heiner:
    Manual for Colored Petri Nets in Snoopy;
    Technical report, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department of Computer Science, July 2011. [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
  • [GLG+11]
    Q Gao, F Liu, D Gilbert, M Heiner and D Tree:
    A Multiscale Approach to Modelling Planar Cell Polarity in Drosophila Wing using Hierarchically Coloured Petri Nets;
    In Proc. 9th International Conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology (CMSB 2011), Paris, ACM digital library, pages 209–218, September 2011. [ url ] [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
  • [GLT+11]
    Q Gao, F Liu, D Tree and D Gilbert:
    Multi-cell Modelling Using Coloured Petri Nets Applied to Planar Cell Polarity;
    In Proc. of the 2nd International Workshop on Biological Processes & Petri Nets (BioPPN), satellite event of PETRI NETS 2011, CEUR-WS.org, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, volume 724, pages 135–150, June 2011. [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
  • [LH10b]
    F Liu and M Heiner:
    Computation of Enabled Transition Instances for Colored Petri Nets;
    In Proc. 17th German Workshop on Algorithms and Tools for Petri Nets (AWPN 2010), CEUR-WS.org, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, volume 643, pages 51–65, October 2010. [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
  • [LH10]
    F Liu and M Heiner:
    Colored Petri nets to model and simulate biological systems;
    In Int. Workshop on Biological Processes & Petri Nets (BioPPN), satellite event of Petri Nets 2010, Braga, Portugal, pages 70-84, June 2010. [ pdf ] [ BibTeX ]
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