122. BioDynaMo: Rapid Medical Insights through Agent-Based Simulations

Lukas Breitwieser and Tobias Duswald – Information Technology Department (IT), CERN, Geneve, Switzerland


Agent-based modeling plays an essential role in gaining insights into biology, medicine, and many other fields. However, many existing agent-based simulation platforms are not suitable for large-scale studies due to the low performance of the underlying simulation engines. To overcome this limitation, we developed BioDynaMo – a modular and highly efficient C++ simulation platform for agent-based modeling.

To this date, BioDynaMo has been used to model cancer progression, radiation-induced lung fibrosis, retinal development, spread of infectious diseases, biofilms, lamination of the cerebral cortex and much more. BioDynaMo’s ability to simulate billions of agents was a crucial milestone for simulating large tumor volumes of up to 400 mm3.

In this seminar, we give a short introduction into the agent-based modeling approach, present our work to reduce the simulation runtime, provide an overview of BioDynaMo’s features to accelerate simulation development, and present a comprehensive cancer model accounting for vascular tumor growth and treatment with Trastuzumab and Doxorubicin.

About the authors

Lukas Breitwieser
Lukas is the principal software engineer of the agent-based simulation platform BioDynaMo. Since the project was established in 2015, he has been involved in all major platform developments with a focus on the scalable and modular simulation engine. Lukas holds a Master’s degree in Software Development and Business Management from Graz University of Technology and is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at ETH Zurich. His research interests include high-performance, parallel, distributed, and heterogeneous computing.

Tobias Duswald
Tobias Duswald is a dedicated physicist with a master’s degree in particle physics from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Currently pursuing his PhD at TUM and CERN, he focuses on stochastic modeling. Additionally, Tobias actively contributes to the development of BioDynaMo, a groundbreaking project that merges physics and biology to simulate complex biological systems. With his expertise and enthusiasm, Tobias aims to advance scientific knowledge and make meaningful contributions to the field.