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Particle methods have become indispensible in conformation dynamics to
compute transition rates in protein folding, binding processes and
molecular design, to mention a few.
Conformation dynamics requires at a decomposition of a molecule's position
space into metastable conformations.
In this paper, we show how this decomposition
can be obtained via the design of either ``soft'' or ``hard''
molecular conformations.
We show, that the soft approach results in a larger metastabilitiy of
the decomposition and is thus more advantegous. This is illustrated
by a simulation of Alanine Dipeptide.

Modelling, parameter identification, and simulation play an important rôle in Systems Biology. In recent years, various software packages have been established for scientific use in both licencing types, open source as well as commercial. Many of these codes are based on inefficient and mathematically outdated algorithms. By introducing the package BioPARKIN recently developed at ZIB, we want to improve this situation significantly. The development of the software BioPARKIN involves long standing mathematical ideas that, however, have not yet entered the field of Systems Biology, as well as new ideas and tools that are particularly important for the analysis of the dynamics of biological networks. BioPARKIN originates from the package PARKIN, written by P.Deuflhard and U.Nowak, that has been applied successfully for parameter identification in physical chemistry for many years.

This study presents a differential equation model for the feedback mechanisms between Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH), Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), development of follicles and corpus luteum, and the production of estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), inhibin A (IhA), and inhibin B (IhB) during the female menstrual cycle.
In contrast to other models, this model does not involve delay differential equations and is based on deterministic modelling of the GnRH pulse pattern, which allows for faster simulation times and efficient parameter identification.
These steps were essential to tackle the task of developing a mathematical model for the administration of GnRH analogues.
The focus of this paper is on model development for GnRH receptor binding and the integration of a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model for the GnRH agonist Nafarelin and the GnRH antagonist Cetrorelix into the menstrual cycle model.
The final mathematical model describes the hormone profiles (LH, FSH, P4, E2) throughout the menstrual cycle in 12 healthy women.
Moreover, it correctly predicts the changes in the cycle following single and multiple dose administration of Nafarelin or Cetrorelix at different stages in the cycle.

Our model of the bovine estrous cycle is a set of ordinary differential equations which generates hormone profiles of successive estrous cycles with several follicular waves per cycle. It describes the growth and decay of the follicles and the corpus luteum, as well as the change of the key substances over time. In this work we describe recent improvements of this model, including the introduction of new components, and elimination of time delays. We validate our model by showing that the simulations agree with observations from synchronization studies and with measured progesterone data after a single dose administration of synthetic prostaglandin F2alpha.

In a number of studies the feeding of pharmacological levels of Zinc to weanling pigs was examined. The publications agree in the fact that the achieved performance increase of the pigs depends on the amount of Zinc as well as on the type of mineral complex used as feed additive. The results are based on measurements of the animals' body weight and the Zinc concentration in the blood within the first two weeks of the experiments. From the measurement values, conclusions are drawn about adequate Zinc doses, but a deeper understanding of the physiological processes that influence the Zinc distribution in the organism is still missing. In this report, we want to close this gap by using a systems biology approach. We present a small mathematical model that describes the organic feedback mechanisms with the help of differential equations. The simulation results not only match with measurement values, but also give insight into non-measurable processes, which will hopefully contribute to animal experiments being organized in a more selective and reduced way.

The understanding of geometric structures and dynamical properties of molecular conformations gives insight into molecular long-term behavior. The identification of metastable conformations together with their life times and transition patterns is the intention of conformation dynamics. Conformation dynamics is a multi-scale approach that leads to a reduced description of the dynamical system in terms of a stochastic transition probability matrix. The present thesis deals with the error analysis of computed matrices and the resulting matrix functions. Since conformational membership vectors, as they are computed by the Robust Perron Cluster Analysis (PCCA+), form an invariant subspace of the transition matrix, subspace-based error estimators are of particular interest. The decomposition of the state space into basis functions and the approximation of integrals by Monte-Carlo quadrature give rise to row-wise correlated random matrices, for which stochastic norms are computed. Together with an appropriate statistical model for the distribution of matrix rows, this allows for the calculation of error bounds and error distributions of the invariant subspace and other variables of interest. Equilibration of errors among the basis functions can be achieved by enhanced sampling in regions where the trajectories are mixing slowly. Hierarchical refinement of such basis functions systematically improves the clustering into metastable conformations by reducing the error in the corresponding invariant subspace. These techniques allow for an evaluation of simulation results and pave the way for the analysis of larger molecules. Moreover, the extension of PCCA+ to non-reversible Markov chains, verified by the corresponding perturbation theory, and the modification of the objective function for the case of soft membership vectors represent a further generalization of the clustering method, thus continuing the development from PCCA over PCCA+ to PCCA++. The methods developed in this thesis are useful for but not limited to conformation dynamics. In fact, they are applicable to a broader class of problems which combine domain decomposition with Monte-Carlo quadrature. Possible application areas may include the chemical master equation or quantum dynamical systems.

We compute expectation values for the solution of the nuclear Schrödinger equation. The proposed particle method consists of three steps: sampling of the initial Wigner function, classical transport of the sampling points, weighted phase space summation for the final computation of the expectation values. The Egorov theorem guarantees that the algorithm is second order accurate with respect to the semiclassical parameter. We present numerical experiments for a two-dimensional torsional potential with three different sets of initial data and for a six-dimensional Henon-Heiles potential. By construction, the computing times scale linearly with the number of initial sampling points and range between three seconds and one hour.

Bovine fertility is the subject of extensive research in animal sciences, especially because fertility of dairy cows has declined during the last decades. The regulation of estrus is controlled by the complex interplay of various organs and hormones. Mathematical modeling of the bovine estrous cycle could help in understanding the dynamics of this complex biological system. In this paper we present a mathematical model of the bovine estrous cycle that includes the processes of follicle and corpus luteum development and the key hormones that interact to control these processes. Focus in this paper is on development of the model, but also some simulation results are presented, showing that a set of equations and parameters is obtained that describes the system consistent with empirical knowledge. Even though the majority of the mechanisms that are included are only known qualitatively as stimulatory or inhibitory effects, the model surprisingly well features quantitative observations made in reality. This model of the bovine estrous cycle could be used as a basis for more elaborate models with the ability to study effects of external manipulations and genetic differences.

Normal follicular growth is a prerequisite for successful fertilization of dairy cows. However, submission rates have been decreasing during the last decades because animals are not ovulating at the planned time of mating or insemination. In this study we use a mathematical model to investigate mechanisms that lead to anestrus.
This model is derived by coupling two previously published models: a small model for the development of multiple follicles (Smith et al., 2004), and a large estrous cycle model (St\"otzel et al., 2012).
We first investigate the influence of synchronization protocols on the time-shift of ovulation.
In a second scenario we simulate an extended period of anestrus as it typically occurs after calving.

Potassium is fundamental for cell functioning including signal transduction, acid-base- and water-metabolism.
Since diet of dairy cows is generally rich in potassium, hypokalemia was not in the focus of research for long time. Furthermore, hypokalemia was not frequently diagnosed because blood potassium content is difficult to measure. In recent years, measurement methods have been improved. Nowadays hypokalemia is increasingly diagnosed in cows with disorders such as abomasal displacement, ketosis or down cow syndrome, calling for intensified research on this topic.
In this report we describe the development of a basic mechanistic, dynamic model of potassium balance based on ordinary differential and algebraic equations. Parameter values are obtained from data of a clinical trial in which potassium balance and the influence of therapeutic intervention in glucose and electrolyte metabolism on potassium balance in non-lactating dairy cows were studied. The model is formulated at a high abstraction level and includes information and hypotheses from literature. This work represents a first step towards the understanding and design of effective prophylactic feed additives and treatment strategies.